The trade deadline is one month away and the New York Mets have to be buyers. They’re right in the middle of what could potentially be a deep playoff run, thanks to an underperforming National League East thus far.
The Mets need rotation help, another bat or two, and some assistance for an overused bullpen. The Mets finally have an owner in Steve Cohen who will push the tempo to make the moves necessary to put a winning ball club on the field, these are the transactions that I believe need to happen.
Acquire Jose Berrios from the Minnesota Twins:
There is no doubt that the Minnesota Twins have been one of, if not the most, disappointing roster in the league this year, making them prime sellers with tons of assets that will likely be available come deadline time.
Making a move for a guy like Berrios won’t be cheap but could put the Mets in prime position to bolster a very beat-up starting rotation. Berrios is currently pitching to a 3.48 ERA and 3.39 FIP (both current career-highs) over 108.2 IP. This is exactly what the Mets are looking for in a young arm that can go deep into games with some playoff experience.
With no real timetable for either Noah Syndergaard or Carlos Carrasco, adding Berrios to the current 3-headed-monster of deGrom, Stroman, and Walker would give the Mets good depth today, but even better depth when Syndergaard and Carrasco return.
Likely Trade Scenario: Mets acquire Jose Berrios for RHP J.T. Ginn (#6 prospect), 3B Mark Vientos (#7 prospect), and RHP Junior Santos (#11 prospect).
Acquire Ian Kennedy and Kyle Gibson from the Texas Rangers:
This deal would be much easier for the Mets due to an expiring Ian Kennedy contract and an aging starter in Kyle Gibson. Gibson has been unreal for the Rangers this year with a good 6-1 record and a 2.29 ERA in 17 starts thus far. Kennedy also has had a solid year with 15 saves and posting a 2.67 ERA.
Kennedy wouldn’t be in the closing role for the Mets obviously but would be a really good addition to an already strong bullpen. Pitching depth is something that every team in the bigs needs and having too many good arms is always a good problem to have.
Going out and adding these guys would probably cost the Mets a smaller package and maybe be a safer move for the team in the short term.
Likely Trade Scenario: Mets acquire Ian Kennedy and Kyle Gibson, Rangers acquire RHP Franklyn Kilome (#20 Prospect), RHP Joey Butto (#15 Prospect), and 2B/OF Travis Blankenhorn (#22 Prospect).
Acquire Whit Merrifield from the Kansas City Royals:
This would be another monumental move for the Mets if they want to go all-in for the 2021 season. Merrifield is similar to Jeff McNeil but hits right-handed. The addition of Merrifield would essentially lead to the subtraction of J.D. Davis, who would be a strong addition to Kansas City.
The Mets would have to add more, but Merrifield would be a huge addition not only as a glove in the field but also a right-handed bat that the Mets have been lacking due to the extended absence of J.D. Davis.
Merrifield is batting a strong .270, with 47 RBI, 24 stolen bases, and 30 XBHs.
Adding him to the top of the Mets lineup would give them another on-base machine with Nimmo and stretch the lineup out even more. Merrifield would be under control through the 2023 season meaning it would take a strong package for Kansas City to let him go.
Likely Trade Scenario: Mets acquire Whit Merrifield, Royals acquire 3B/OF J.D. Davis, 3B Mark Vientos (#8 Prospect) RHP Ryley Gilliam (#16 Prospect) and a player to be named later.
Mets acquire Gregory Soto and Robbie Grossman from the Detroit Tigers:
The Mets have a glaring need for a left-handed pitcher to add to their bullpen and adding one with a veteran switch-hitting outfielder would be a great option for the Metropolitans.
Soto is young and probably won’t be cheap but has some electric stuff and would transform a good Mets bullpen into a great Mets bullpen. With the consistent struggle from David Peterson this year, the loss of Joey Luchessi to season-ending Tommy John surgery, and now having only Aaron Loup, the Mets should be pursuing a lefty for the pen.
Soto is having a really strong year holding a 4-1 record in 36 innings pitched with 43 strikeouts and a 3.00 ERA.
Adding 7 holds and 7 saves to his stat line, Soto can most definitely fit anywhere from the 5th to the 9th inning if the Mets needed him to do so. To go along with the young lefty, the Mets would be adding an experienced switch-hitting veteran who can come in and make an impact as a platoon player and roster replacement for a struggling Albert Almora.
Grossman has struggled a little at the plate hitting .226 with 12 HRs and 42 RBI but a solid glove in the outfield can be a great add-on in this deal. This would benefit the Mets now and the Tigers later.
Likely Trade Scenario: Mets acquire Gregory Soto and Robbie Grossman, Tigers acquire LHP Thomas Szapucki (#10 Prospect), OF Albert Almora Jr., RHP Robert Dominguez (#13 Prospect), and 3B Will Toffey.
Mets acquire 3B/OF Kris Bryant from the Chicago Cubs:
This would be the dream scenario for the Mets. Get an early-season NL MVP candidate who seems to be getting back to his old MVP self. A guy who can play third base, first base, and all three outfield positions and a superb right-handed bat is exactly what the Mets are looking for.
The Cubs are slowly falling out of contention and it seems as if they are ready to tear it all down. This move would be fantastic for both sides, although it technically would be a rental. Again, I don’t see the Mets hesitating to make a big move since the team was purchased by Steve Cohen. It will be costly, but I think the Mets can make the move without having to give up any of their top 5 prospects.
Patience is huge and waiting until the deadline will force the Cubs’ hand to either lose him for nothing or move him for something. Bryant this year is batting .271 with 16 HRs and 46 RBI and an OPS just short of .900.
Take those numbers and plug them into the middle of the Mets lineup and you could arguably have the best lineup in baseball. A power move for a big market team trying to get over the hump and I’m all for it!
Likely Trade Scenario: Mets acquire Kris Bryant, Cubs acquire 3B/OF J.D. Davis, LHP David Peterson, RHP J.T. Ginn (#6 Prospect) and 3B/SS Jaylen Palmer (#12 Prospect).
In the end, it’s going to be a busy month for teams all across baseball, making the tough decision whether or not they should be sellers or buyers at the July 31st trade deadline. The Mets are clearly going to be buyers as they reside atop the NL East standings.
It’s going to be a great run for this team as long as they go out and make the necessary moves to push them to the top. It’s a long season and we’re halfway there. It’s going to be an exciting stretch and I can’t wait to ride it out with my team! #LFGM.