Mets still targeting a big bat ahead of the trade deadline

Gerardo Parra 1 slice

BaronSandy Alderson said on Tuesday at Citi Field his front office is continuing to speak with other clubs about trades to bring offense to the roster.

The Mets are still aiming high in their search, as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says they, “have their sights clearly on a big bat.”

The list of players the Mets continue to target includes Justin Upton, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Gomez, Gerardo Parra and Jay Bruce. Continue reading

Mets ‘in the mix’ for Gerardo Parra, maybe Carlos Gomez

Gerardo Parra 1 slice

BaronWith the Mets having secured Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson and Tyler Clippard ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Mets are continuing their search for an outfielder to add to their equation.

People in the Mets organization have liked Brewers OF Gerardo Parra for a number of seasons. With his pending free agency, the Brewers have made him available, and the both the Mets and Brewers were in discussions as late as last week about a trade for the former Gold Glover, reports Marc Carig of Newsday.

But a deal could not be agreed to before the Mets had to make the difficult decision to call up Michael Conforto, as they needed to put Michael Cuddyer on the disabled list.

But their interest apparently hasn’t gone away.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the Mets remain interested in acquiring Parra this week.

But Parra has a competitive market right now, according to Heyman. The Mets, Orioles, Angels, and a, “mystery team” are in on Parra at the present time.

Braves Brewers BaseballIt’s not clear what the price tag might ultimately be for a player of Parra’s ilk, but presumably less than that for someone like Justin Upton or Carlos Gomez, although if demand continues to rise, clubs might find themselves in a position to be overpaying for the pending free agent. 

It seems the Mets are more than willing to part with former first-round selection Brandon Nimmo in the right deal, and Carig has previously reported the Mets could also be willing to move Gavin Cecchini and Michael Fulmer to help solidify their starving offense.

Parra is an outstanding fit for the Mets right now. While the advanced metrics suggest Parra has struggled defensively, he is a two-time Gold Glove Award winning outfielder who would unquestionably upgrade their outfield defense along with providing an immediate boost to their offense. His splits have been solid this year, so the club would not have to consider a platoon with Parra.

Parra can be a free agent at the end of the season, and if he’s traded, the Mets will be unable to make him a qualifying offer. Of course, he should be considered a longer-term option for the Mets given his age and skill set, so trading for and pursuing a new contract with Parra should be in consideration going forward.

Speaking of Gomez, Heyman says he could be retained by the Brewers. The Mets have been linked to Gomez at times over the last month, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt tweeted earlier on Monday that they could be looking to make a big move to acquire Gomez.

Gomez, 29, is hitting .266/.334/.431 with 19 doubles, eight home runs, 42 RBI and 41 runs scored with a .765 OPS with the Brewers this season and is under contract for 2016.

Mets remain interested in Carlos Gomez, maybe Justin Upton

Carlos Gomez Justin Upton


The Mets are apparently aiming high in their search for offense this summer, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote late last week. So much so they’ve set their sights on Padres OF Justin Upton and Brewers OF Carlos Gomez to help boost their sub-competitive offense.

Their interest could be to a point where the Mets and Padres have had recent trade discussions, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Friday. Those discussions apparently have led the Padres to start scouting players in the Mets minor league system, Heyman wrote last week.

Justin UptonIt remains to be seen if the Mets are able to acquire either, as both players will likely require a greater commitment than a group of prospects including Gavin Cecchini, Brandon Nimmo or Michael Fulmer. But for now, Heyman says the Mets remain interested in the star outfielders, although Adam Rubin of ESPN New York debunked some of this, stating the Mets were not in on Upton.

The risk in acquiring Upton now is substantial, although it has nothing to do with the production he would provide the Mets, although he is currently sidelined with oblique tightness.

He can be a free agent following the World Series. If the Mets acquired Upton now, that would disallow the Mets from making Upton a qualifying offer, as a player traded in-season is not eligible to receive such an offer.

So if the Mets send pieces to San Diego to get Upton – and presumably, those pieces would need to be more significant than one of – the Mets run the risk of Upton testing free agency, signing somewhere else, and having neither the player, the prospects or the draft compensation to show for the transaction.

And, if the Mets do not make the playoffs and all of the above come to fruition, then the Mets would have sacrificed a lot of talent for nothing more than a fruitless pennant race.

The Mets could theoretically look to sign Upton long-term if they were to acquire him now. He’s in his age-27 season, he’s a difference-making, right-handed bat with power, all of which are rare commodities to find on the open market in the game today.

Given that, however, Upton has very little reason to limit his market to one team right now versus testing free agency this winter and letting the bidding run it’s course against other teams.

But he’s one of the most intriguing options available to the Mets, and one of the few pending free agents who can provide a true, longer-term solution to their problems. In the short-term, the Mets could (and should) turn a corner outfield spot into a platoon between Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer which would afford a player like Upton a full-time opportunity in the other outfield spot.

That would require a significant, long-term investment from the club, something they have yet to show they’re willing to do outside of David Wright, which took place nearly three years ago.

As for the 29-year-old Gomez, he comes with less short-term risk, as he can’t be a free agent until after the 2016 season. If they were to acquire Gomez, they would be on the hook for about $12-13 million through 2016.

Gomez has taken a step back offensively this season and his stolen bases are down, but he’s still posted a .768 OPS and 109 OPS+ in 65 games in 2015. He’s become and electric player since the Mets originally traded him to the Twins in 2008, featuring a combination of both speed and power from the right side proving hard to come by in the game today. His game of speed and defense would be a good fit for the Mets with their pitching staff and ballpark, although his defense has been just about league average in 2015.

But like Upton, the cost in trade could be more substantial than the Mets are willing to move, especially with the extra year of control which adds value in trade.

Heyman’s Notes: Justin Upton, Carlos Gomez on the Mets radar

Carlos Gomez Justin Upton


The Mets and their on-going search for offense on the trade market has yielded no results to date.

Part of their dilemma could be their continued reluctance to deal any of their current starting pitchers at the big league level, including Steven Matz who is on the disabled list, writes Marc Carig of Newsday.

Here’s the latest from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports/MLB Network on the Mets pursuit of offense:

  • The Mets are, aiming high in their search for offense, as both Padres OF Justin Upton and Carlos Gomez are on their radar. Both would be fits for the Mets with Gomez being the better defensive player. Upton can be a free agent at the end of the year, so if the Mets acquired him, he would be ineligible to receive a qualifying offer. If the Mets were to re-acquire Gomez (remember, the Mets traded him in a package to the Twins for Johan Santana in February, 2008), they would be on the hook for about $12-13m through 2016, after which he can become a free agent.
  • The Mets are not high on Jean Segura as he doesn’t fit their style of hitting. He could be viewed as a fallback option if they fail to acquire a higher-end bat. He has also been a below average shortstop so far in 2015.
  • The Braves may be trying to trade Juan Uribe to the Mets, but the Mets haven’t shown much interest to this point. Acquiring Uribe would conceivable force the Mets to shift Daniel Murphy back to second base and Wilmer Flores to shortstop, a situation which didn’t prove ideal during the first half.

Five outfielders the Mets could look at adding by the trade deadline

Justin Upton

Rich MacLeodIt’s pretty evident that the Mets need to add major league talent to their roster by this year’s trade deadline. While many may look at shortstop, and it does remain an area of need for this team, the play of Michael Cuddyer and Juan Lagares this season has been underwhelming and now the both of them are dealing with injuries to boot.

Not only that, but shortstop is such a premium position in this league, and finding a good one won’t be easy or cheap. Instead, it may be more affective for the Mets to steer their interest to outfielders that could become available in the coming weeks.

Here are five that I think they could look at. Continue reading