The Mets have shown a reluctance to deal from their wealth of pitching prospects, specifically their top shelf crop including Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.
But as the need for offense has only grown in recent weeks, and the surpluses among their starting pitchers have only grown in quantity and extended awkwardness, the Mets may be willing to deal at least from their second-tier of pitchers.
On Friday, Andy Martino of the Daily News reported the Mets are attempting to trade both Jon Niese and Dillon Gee, which if successful would afford some space in the rotation for Steven Matz who, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, could be promoted by the All-Star break.
In addition, the Mets currently view Rafael Montero as a trade chip, according to Puma, although his shoulder injury handicaps their ability to extract any value in him at the present time.
One area the Mets are not currently interested in dealing from is their catching surplus. While Kevin Plawecki will likely be optioned back to Triple-A when Travis d’Arnaud returns, the Mets view Plawecki as valuable insurance at the position for the time being, and are not looking to move him this summer, according to Puma.
As for potential offensive help, the Mets remain interested in Ben Zobrist, and could be considering one of Aramis Ramirez or Jean Segura, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal said the Mets feel they will eventually be outbid for Zobrist, as other teams are willing to give up more for him than they are, and view Ramirez – who is retiring at the end of the year – and less expensive in terms of the cost in trade despite having the highest salary of the three.
Based on some of the things I heard over the weekend, I’m wondering if the Mets are focusing on moving Niese and/or Gee as a precursor to acquiring offense, or would like to get the offense they desire in a trade for one or both of the starting pitchers. And, as much as Zobrist is a fit for the Mets, it’s not really clear how involved they’re going to get for him in the end, which could be partially due to his perceived inflated value on the trade market this summer.
But, if that’s the case, it could be difficult for the Mets to get what they need in the time they need it.
The problems the Mets have with Niese, Gee and Montero are very apparent. Niese has underperformed and comes with some scary medicals in his arm, even though he and the team have said he feels fine. Gee is now in the bullpen, has hardly pitched in the last five weeks, and is earning $5.3 million in arbitration this year with another year to go before free agency, all of which hurts his value in trade. And, as Puma said, Montero has a shoulder injury and is struggling to get back, so he is next to impossible to move at the present time.