After having one of the hottest starts in baseball, the New York Mets have fallen far out of contention in the National League East. Currently 13.5 games out of first, the Mets are battling Miami for fourth place in the division. Assistant GM John Ricco said that the Mets will be sellers come the trade deadline (via Tim Healey at Newsday).
New York Mets have a trio of tradable veterans
Trade talks in New York will almost certainly begin with second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera, 32 years old with 10 years MLB service time, is in the final year of his two-year contract with the Mets. The 2x All-Star has put together a solid year at the plate with a 2.5 oWAR. Slashing .280/.328/.479 with a 122 OPS+, Cabrera would be a great lease for a contending lineup. As a middle infielder, his abysmal -1.5 dWAR is concerning, but his bat could be enough to outweigh his glove in trade talks. According to Jeff Passan, Cabrera has been named in rumors surrounding Dodgers’ trade talks.
Sources: Dodgers have stepped up pursuit of a position player and are looking beyond Manny Machado. Have had conversations with Reds about Scooter Gennett, Twins about Brian Dozier and Mets about Asdrubal Cabrera. Dodgers’ versatility allows them to pursue a number of positions.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 10, 2018
Jose Bautista is nearing the end of his career, but he may still add some trade value to the Mets’ portfolio. In May, Bautista signed a one year, $545,000 contract with New York. Despite a sub-.250 batting average, Bautista has gotten on base 41.5% of the time. If he keeps up this solid play, Bautista could fill some holes for contending teams at a relatively cheap cost.
In the Matt Harvey trade with Cincinnati, New York received veteran catcher Devin Mesoraco in return. The Reds’ retained the final year of Mesoraco’s contract, which is an added benefit to trade talks in New York. Mesoraco is a 0.9 WAR player with a 118 OPS+ since coming to the Mets. The former Red has not explicitly appeared on anyone’s trade radar, but he has the potential to be dealt near the deadline or off of waivers.
Wilmer Flores a likely trade chip
We all remember the trade deadline three years prior when Wilmer Flores was seen crying on the field when he thought he had been traded away from the team that had developed him. Still with the Mets, that trade may again be a possibility for the Venezuela native. Flores told the New York Post, “I don’t want to go anywhere,” (link) in regards to his trade rumors. In the last month, Flores is slashing .288/.316/.534 with a 117 tOPS+. This increased production from the plate makes it more and more likely that Flores and the Mets will part ways this season. Whoever is on the receiving end of a possible trade will also have Flores locked down for 2019 under arbitration.
How extensive is the rebuild?
That question determines what the Mets front office should do with aces Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. deGrom is having a Cy Young season and leads all pitchers in WAR. Syndergaard has been facing injury troubles and should be coming off the disabled list soon.
John Ricco told reporters that it would take an “overwhelming deal” to consider trading deGrom or Syndergaard (via Laura Albanese). Rossi is hoping for a quick turnaround that includes the two aces, rather than a two- or three-year rebuild.
With that being the approach of the front office, it is unlikely that you see deGrom or Syndergaard leave New York this July. However, a trade for either would go a long way in boosting a famished farm system. Furthermore, with Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz looking like promising pieces to the rotation, trading one of deGrom/Syndergaard could be a possibility.