Mets top 4 trade targets at the MLB trade deadline
Coming into the 2021 MLB season, the National League East looked like it would be a tough competition between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets. While the Braves have experienced some unlucky injuries and have disappointed this season, the Mets are first in the National League East with a record of 52-44 with only a few days before the MLB trade deadline.
This has come on the back of their outstanding starting rotation led by Jacob deGrom. While the starting pitching has been good, the Mets also traded for Rich Hill on July 23. However, the Mets lineup has struggled all year long, whether it be bad luck or just bad performance, there are some glaring holes. So let’s go over four trade targets that the Mets should go after to fill those glaring holes.
Max Scherzer, Starting Pitcher, Washington Nationals:
“Didn’t this guy just say that the Mets needed lineup help, and they have an amazing rotation?” Yes, but when it’s Max Scherzer, you have to go for it. This is the least realistic target of the four, but take a moment to imagine the dominance that a Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer rotation would have. Scherzer is on an expiring deal and will be a free agent after the end of this season, so there is little financial commitment that the Mets would have to make.
The Nationals asking price, while fair, will be extremely high, but with the prospect capital, they could get a deal done. A pairing of Scherzer and deGrom is amazing, although it probably won’t happen.
Starling Marte, Outfielder, Miami Marlins:
Starling Marte has been outstanding this season, posting a slash line of .295/.395/.446 resulting in a .842 OPS. Had Marte not missed time early in the season with a rib fracture, he would have undoubtedly been an All-Star in the National League. The Mets have a solid outfield on paper, but with disappointing seasons from Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo (injured most of the season), they need an upgrade out in center field.
Starling Marte is a free agent at the end of the season, so there is very little financial commitment for the Mets and the Marlins should be looking to add prospect capital to continue their rebuild.
Josh Donaldson, Third Baseman, Minnesota Twins:
The Minnesota Twins came into this season as the favorites to win the AL Central halfway through the season and they are one of the worst teams in baseball. No one could have seen the Twins as sellers at the deadline at the start of the season, and yet here we are. The Mets should take advantage of it and try to scoop up former American League MVP Josh Donaldson. Donaldson has a slash line of .251/.350/.479 for an OPS of .829, which are elite offensive numbers at third base. Donaldson is signed through the 2023 season making $23M per year, which is the only thing that would stop the Mets from doing this deal.
With Donaldson being 35 years old and on a big contract, the Mets may need to find a way to sweeten the deal by taking either a bullpen arm, a starter, or a hybrid pitcher like Randy Dobnak, who has seen time out of both the rotation and the pen. This is the trade that makes the most sense and is the most realistic for the Mets.
Kris Bryant, Third Baseman/Outfielder, Chicago Cubs:
Kris Bryant has had a career reviving year after having an injury-muddled season in 2020 that saw his trade value plummet. There were trade rumors throughout the offseason surrounding Bryant, as the Cubs looked to potentially start a rebuild. Looking back now, surely many teams wished they had pulled the trigger then, as Bryant has hit a slash line of .266/.354/..494 for an OPS of .848. Bryant has also shown a lot of positional versatility this season, as the bulk of his playing time has actually come in the outfield.
With all that information in mind, Bryant is the perfect fit for the Mets, who have a hole at third base, and a hole in the outfield. Bryant will be a free agent at the end of the season, and there’s no doubt that the Mets will go after him in free agency, so why wait? By adding Bryant they become legitimate threats in the NL East and would get the first shot at signing Bryant long term. The Mets have the prospect capital to do this deal, and the Cubs are willing to trade. It’s a match made in heaven.