Since the inception of the New York Mets in 1962, there have been 15 trades made between the Mets and their New York counterparts, the Yankees. 15 trades over 67 years is not a lot, but the line of conversation seems to have opened up more than usual before the 2019 trade deadline.
The Mets, who have fallen out of contention after spending a ton of prospects and money this past offseason to speed up their rebuild, have the pieces that teams are very interested in, mostly starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler. For the Yankees, they seem to never have enough starting pitcher but always have a replenished farm system, so these two teams have what each other is looking for.
For the National League New York squad, things have not gone their way since Opening Day, as they have struggled to even remain competitive at times during this season. Having acquired Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz in a deal with the Seattle Mariners, the expectations were high for this team.
Instead, what fans received was a pile of insert favorite descriptive word here, as the Mets completely forgot how to play competitive baseball and have been in fourth place in the NL East for a while. Only the lowly Miami Marlins have kept the struggling Mets out of the cellar in their own division.
Led by rookie Pete Alonso, the Mets have a ton of solid pieces to build around and hopefully make 2019 easy to forget, but their starting rotation still remains their strong area on their roster. Besides Thor and Wheeler, Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom and Jason Vargas all have held down rotation spots this year with varying amounts of success, and while both Thor and Wheeler are the more commonly-referenced players likely to be changing teams at this year’s deadline, Vargas has been mentioned a bit himself.
If the Yankees and Mets were to do the deed and agree to a deal, how much would that cost the Yankees when acquiring a top-flight starter? Obviously, Thor and Wheeler are on a different tier compared to the other three, but neither of the rumored arms will come cheap.
Thor is the team’s top prize, and any deal would have to include a haul that is somewhat similar to what the Tampa Bay Rays got for Chris Archer from the Pittsburgh Pirates at last year’s deadline: two prospects at the top of their farm system, ready to contribute at the major-league level and with a lot of high expectations. The Yankees, while hesitant to do so, have those pieces that could entice the Mets.
Led by pitchers Deivi Garcia and Jonathan Loaisiga, as well as outfielder Estevan Florial, the top of the farm system for the Yankees is stacked. Most likely wanting a top-notch arm in any return deal, the Mets would be sure to ask for Garcia, as Loaisiga has had some injury troubles this season and Garcia looks to have a higher ceiling as a ballplayer.
Regardless of the deal, the Mets hold all of the cards in their hand and are looking to cash in on their developed assets. Even with recent mumblings of the team potentially looking at extensions for both Thor and Wheeler instead of dealing them, the doors are open and the open sign is up for the Mets, as they will look to recoup some prospects that they lost from the rambunctious offseason that they went through before the 2019 season.
The Yankees would be smart to entertain any and all conversations that the Mets want to have on their plethora of solid starting pitchers, but there needs to be a line that they will not cross in any deals. While sending any of the three previously-mentioned prospects across town would surely hurt, the Yankees do not have to shred their farm system just for one player.
Including Garcia in a deal would lower the need for the caliber of the other included pieces, which is helpful to keep the Yankees’ system intact, but losing the 99th-best prospect in all of the MLB is a hard pill to swallow, especially to your cross-town rivals.
Seeing a deal go down between the two teams that run New York is tough to see actually happening, but the fact that talks have already begun means that there is some traction to those reports. While not knowing the specifics of what the Mets are asking for, the Yankees should be wary of giving up too much for any of their pitchers, even with as appetizing as it may seem.