New York Mets: 2021 MLB Trade Deadline Grades
During the wild week which was the MLB trade deadline, the New York Mets made some big moves to improve their roster during their second-half stretch. With hopes to make it to the playoffs, these moves may define the team for years to come. With that being said, here are some trade grades for the Mets.
Rich Hill, LHP
It is no secret that the Mets are going through some pitching troubles after losing Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and David Peterson to injuries. After making several offers to other teams, they landed on pitcher Rich Hill, in exchange for reliever Tommy Hunter and catcher Matt Dryer.
Throughout the 2021 season, Hill has had a decent season with the Tampa Bay Rays, throwing a total of 96 SO, has a 4.10 ERA and has six wins to his name.
Adding such a veteran pitcher to a rotation that has been lost for weeks is a positive sign for the team. Though he is up there in age (41 years old), Hill can still gobble up some innings and give the team a decent back-end starter while the others begin rehab and find their way back to the starting rotation. Aside from Hill, getting rid of Hunter’s $2.2 million dollar contract helps make the deal look good for the better. However, there are a couple of issues with this trade.
While getting a pitcher was the way to go, the Mets should have gone big and traded for someone like Jose Berrios or Kyle Gibson. Hill has shown that he can blow some games and lose control against some of the better hitting teams in the MLB. Instead of going all-in on a proven ace or proven pitcher, they stick with an average guy who wasn’t worth much.
Overall, this is a good short-term trade, but they could have done better for the pitching department. But getting rid of Tommy Hunter’s contract does make the deal better than what it seems.
Javy Baez, SS and Trevor Williams, RHP
In an interesting move, the Mets landed star shortstop Javier Baez and pitcher Trevor Williams from the Cubs in exchange for OF Pete Crow-Armstrong. Javy Baez is currently struggling this season, with a .248/.292/.484 slash line, 23 HRs, 67 RBIs and 13 SBs. His strikeouts are worrisome, as he is in second place (133) only behind Matt Chapman. His fielding hasn’t been as good either, with 18 errors to his name (a career-high. Oh let’s not forget the Cubs fielding error fiasco against the Pittsburgh Pirates). Trevor Williams is having a meh season as a starter with four wins to his name. He also has thrown 61 SO, has a 5.06 ERA, and has a 1.53 WHIP. However, his IP is terribly low at 58.2.
At first glance, the trade seems like a win for the Mets. They get a solid batter in Baez and get a body in the rotation with Williams. However, the player they gave up for these two may make or break this trade. The former No. 5 prospect for the New York Mets, Crow-Armstrong was viewed as the future of the Big Apple’s outfield. His elite defensive is some of the in the pipeline and has shown to be a good contact hitter. The fact that the Mets gave up a top-five prospect for a pair of struggling vets is questionable.
Make no mistake, Baez can still bounce back and have a great second half. The change of scenery from one of the struggling teams to playoff hopefuls could ignite a fire in Baez. Williams can be a great stop-gap as other pitchers begin to rehab from their respective injuries. It’s just a matter of if they will step up to the plate and make changes for the team.
There is no clear winner of this certain trade at the moment. With time, it will be known if the Cubs got the player they wanted in Crow-Armstrong or if the Mets will reach postseason glory.
While there was high expectations for the Mets at the trade deadline, they were not met this time around. Pitching has started to become a big weakness for the team and the offense hasn’t been too solid as of lately. This haul was underwhelming, as they could have targeted the likes of Max Scherzer, Kris Bryant, Jose Berrios or Adam Fraizer. They had the players to pull a true blockbuster move and become true playoff contenders. However, with some moves that other NL East teams made as of lately, the Mets are going to have to fight hard for a playoff spot. But have faith in the players they received.
Overall grade: C