New York Mets: What is Next After Bauer Signed With The Dodgers?

New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant

The New York Mets lucked out when Trevor Bauer decided to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. They did not overpay for a similar version of Carlos Carrasco and gave them more options before spring training. The Mets roster is already the best in the NL East, but what else could they do to improve it?

Option #1: Rich Hill, Jake Arrieta, or any other starting pitching depth

Bauer would have given the Mets a dream rotation, but the Mets did not need him to win a World Series. The current rotation gives the Mets a top-5 group in baseball, and quality depth would make it better. Rich Hill would be the ideal backup plan if Joey Lucchesi does not bounce back or David Peterson has a sophomore slump. Even at the age of 41, Hill would compete with Lucchesi for the fifth starter spot.

Option #2: Jackie Bradley Jr.

The absence of a designated hitter in the National League leaves the Mets with a tough decision in their outfield. Signing Jackie Bradley Jr. gives the Mets four starting outfielders for three positions. The best move would be to give Bradley 2-3 years to have him on the roster once the DH gets to the NL.

Bradley would serve as the fourth outfielder for the first year but start in center field in 2022. The center field for the next two offseasons is very thin. This deal would be done with an eye for the future, but it will be tough to get Bradley to agree on.

Option #3: Kris Bryant and/or Jackie Bradley Jr.

This option requires the most parts to make it happen. Kris Bryant is heading into the last year of his deal with the Chicago Cubs, who are looking to shed payroll. Coming off a down year and currently on the last year of his deal allows the Mets to buy low on Bryant as they did with Francisco Lindor.

Trading J.D. Davis, Jeurys Familia, and a mid-level prospect like Carlos Cortes or Michel Otanez might be enough to get the deal done.  The riskier but more likely move would trade Davis, Nimmo, and a prospect outside the Mets top 30. It would open up two positions for each player, free up money for the Cubs, and give the Mets a dynamic lineup.

The potential lineup of Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, Kris Bryant, Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, James McCann, Jackie Bradley Jr., and the pitcher is very enticing. It gives them the ideal righty/lefty combination they have been searching for.

The trade is a huge ask but a viable option. Acquiring Sonny Gray and Eugenio Suarez would require prospects the Mets cannot afford to trade. The ideal 2021 situation with Bryant equals .275/35/110, a World Series ring, and Bryant receiving a lucrative contract during free agency.

 

New York Mets: Drive Up the Price for Steven Matz

New York Mets, New York Yankees, Steven Matz

Rumors have surfaced of the New York Mets and New York Yankees discussing Steven Matz’s name in trade talks. The Yankees already have James Paxton, Luis Severino, and Domingo German currently missing time. For a rare time, the Mets have leverage over the Yankees and should draw out the process as long as possible.

The rumors are only in the beginning stages at the moment, but the Yankees are in desperate need of starting pitching. Matz has shown inconsistencies that prevent him from becoming a front line start but is still serviceable for 30 starts. The Mets should use their leverage to get precisely what they want. Should the Yankees struggle to meet the Mets’ expectations, they keep Matz.

Who Can They Receive

Miguel Andujar is automatically the first name to come up, but it looks to be a long shot. Andujar has more value than Matz and is a legitimate bat to throw in any lineup. The Mets can get other pieces with similar value to Matz. The only way the Mets settle for anything less than Andujar is if they can unload Jed Lowrie at the same time.

Andujar has to be the goal for the Mets. He is an All-Star level third baseman who quickly plugs into the lineup. The Mets cannot settle for anything less due to their lack of depth behind their six starters. Any trade between the crosstown rivals is always fun to ponder but have very low chances of happening in reality.

Should the New York Mets Trade for Starling Marte?

New York Mets interested in trading for Starling Marte.

The New York Mets have intensified their desire to acquire Starling Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates. This rekindling of trade talks likely comes in response to the Atlanta Braves signing Marcell Ozuna. The looming question hanging over the Mets is he worth the trade?

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The simple answer is no. The Mets should not avoid the trade because they do not need him, but because they should not dish out more than he is worth. Marte is heading into his age-31 season, and the defensive metrics do not favor him in center field. The trade would force the Mets to give up either J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, and guarantee them moving Tomas Nido and a mid-level prospect.

Keep the Hand You Are Dealt

In 2019, Marte’s best slugging year only put him third among the Mets group of outfielders. He sits behind Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis and is only nine points better than Michael Conforto. Nimmo’s best year in 2018 was better than any slugging year Marte put together before his .503 in 2019.

The four main outfield options are all younger, cheaper, and better at the plate than Marte. Yes, Marte is the better base stealer, but he ranks dead last when comparing him to the 2019 Mets outfielders. Marte’s best walk rate season (6.1%) is still worse than Nimmo’s worst walk rate season (7.5%).

We omit the bat of Jake Marisnick because he will not be a consideration to start every day going into spring training.

Speed Does Not Equal Defense

Marte is faster than the two starting center field options of Conforto and Nimmo, but he is not better defensively. There was a time where that statement was completely false, but Marte’s defense fell off big time last season. Marte’s UZR dropped from 3.2 to -7.6 from 2018 to 2019. The drop is way too drastic for the Mets to take a risk to hope he is slightly better than Conforto and Nimmo.

Marte saw more time in center than both Mets center fielders. When both UZR’s are expanded to equal the same amount of time, Nimmo still projects to play better, and Conforto projects as a serviceable right fielder. The Mets will not be getting the gold glove caliber Marte, who is likely in a declining part of his career.

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If the Mets want to include Davis instead of Nimmo, then the Mets will put themselves in a high position to succeed. Despite likely being on a decline, his poor UZR will settle in the middle between 2018 and 2019. The key is keeping Nimmo and any high-level prospects out of the trade.

The Pirates are much like the Mets when it comes to horrible organizational management since the century turned. Both have their fair share of questionable moves, and this trade will come down to makes the trade out of confidence, not desperateness. Brodie Van Wagenen trades have come with more failure than success during his short tenure with the Mets. This final one could be what determines his fate under the ownership of Steve Cohen.

 

New York Mets: Scouts Predict Zack Wheeler Will End Up With Astros

Will the New York Yankees land Zack Wheeler in free agency?

The New York Mets currently own the starting pitcher market at the trade deadline. The major question now is: where does Zack Wheeler go? The scouts say it is going to be Wheeler to the Houston Astros. However, those same scouts were caught off guard when the Mets landed Marcus Stroman on Sunday.

Wheeler seems like the logical pitcher to trade, but Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen is unpredictable. Wheeler had some tough luck which led to a 4.71 ERA, but that is not limiting the demand for his services.

What is the Astros Current Pitching Situation?

The Astros feature a dominant trio of Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Wade Miley. The rest of the rotation has given them little to nothing. Brad Peacock was a good fourth starter, but the quickest he will return is mid-August.

His replacements have not faired well. The Astros top three have combined for an ERA of 2.95, while every other starter outside of Peacock has an ERA of 6.37. Wheeler would fit in very well to the fourth starter spot and showed he can pitch like a Cy Young contender during the second half of 2018.

What Should the Mets Expect For Wheeler?

The Mets certainly will not land the likes of a top tier prospect like Forrest Whitley, but adding any of the pitchers in the middle of their top 30 list should be considered a fair trade. Van Wagenen has the leverage here, and if he does not like the return, he can simply keep Wheeler.

With Wheeler remaining in the rotation, it gives the Mets a very strong starting core. 28 of their final 57 games are against teams who are either in front of them in the division or wild card. If they can keep themselves close, they will be in control of their own destiny. Only six games out with two months to play, there is certainly a chance for the Mets to make a playoff push.

New York Mets: Jason Vargas Traded to the Philadelphia Phillies

It was only a matter of time before the New York Mets made another move. They did so by trading veteran lefty Jason Vargas to the Philadelphia Phillies for catcher Austin Bossart and cash considerations.

Vargas had a really solid season with the Mets after an abysmal one in 2018. He was 6-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 94.1 inning pitched. After a rough April, he had a 3.53 ERA from May through his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Who Did The Mets Receive in Return?

The Mets were not expecting a top-30 prospect in return so they took a risk on Bossart. He is 26-years old and has never produced with the bat during his time in the minors. His .195/.303/.335 slash line is no where near great, but he is walking at a higher rate this season. The Mets are hoping that parlays into something.

With Vargas’ contract and his numbers it was very unlikely the Mets would do better than this. Bossart is a good risk for the Mets to take considering their lack of catching depth and if Bossart hits, he could contribute at the big league level.

Will Wheeler or Syndergaard Go?

Reports have said the Houston Astros are most likely acquiring Zack Wheeler, but there has been no traction on that deal. Noah Syndergaard has high value to the Mets and seems more likely to stay as the hours go on. If none of them go, the Mets certainly have the pitching to make a legitimate run at the NL Wild Card.

New York Mets: Where Will Edwin Diaz Land?

New York Mets, Edwin Diaz

The New York Mets have claimed to be sellers at the trade deadline, but have gone 8-5 since the All-Star break. Will they make a major move before July 31?

Who Wants Diaz?

One of their biggest trade assets has now become closer Edwin Diaz and plenty of teams are lining up for his services. Diaz has become more likely to be dealt than Noah Syndergaard.

The Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins are the front-runners to land Diaz. All three teams have closer problems, and Diaz would solidify their bullpen for the next few years.

The Benefits of Acquiring Diaz

Diaz is young, cheap and controllable, which is a beautiful thing to general managers today. He has struggled at times this year, with a 4.81 ERA, but has 61 strikeouts in 39.1 innings.

He has seemed to find himself since the break; in six outings, he has not allowed a run, and looks like the pitcher the Mets shipped their top prospect Jarred Kelenic away for. In order for the Mets to trade Diaz, they will need a huge haul in return.

If the Mets do not receive a Gavin Lux type of player, the deal would be a failure, however. The Mets traded away their top prospect for Diaz, and it will be irresponsible to ask for anything less than that now. This has to be a deal where the Mets are overwhelmed with what they receive in return.

New York Mets: Will Noah Syndergaard Survive the Trade Deadline?

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

Over the last few days, rumors have swirled that the New York Mets are trying to move Noah Syndergaard before the July 31 trade deadline. The Mets are expecting a heavy load of top tier prospects in return for their innings leader this season.

Why Trade Syndergaard?

Syndergaard has not pitched as well as he did last season but has still been very solid. In 126.2 innings this year he has a 4.33 ERA and 126 strikeouts. Much like Jacob deGrom, he had a subpar April and has seen his ERA decrease in each month this season.

Zack Wheeler was originally the most likely pitcher to be traded, but his shoulder injury sidetracked any ideas. Syndergaard still has two more years of control and is also two years younger than Wheeler. All of those factors would allow the Mets to rebuild their farm system after losing key players in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade.

Should the Mets move Syndergaard?

The Mets must believe they are going to receive a strong enough package to replace Syndergaard in the rotation if they deal him. It certainly would not fall in line with Brodie Van Waganen’s “Win now and win in the future” mentality.

Many teams around baseball are searching for starting pitching and the Mets are unique because they do not have the same problem. The problem is their bullpen and below-average defense. If the Mets want to contend in 2020 they will keep Syndergaard, until the offseason at worst. Let Syndergaard lower his ERA and raise his stock so if the Mets want to trade him they receive even more in return. If they decide to keep him they will comeback with a strong rotation in 2020.