Report: Yankees discussing a Brett Gardner-for-Starlin Castro deal


For the last four seasons, the Mets have been trying to figure out how to fill the void vacated by Jose Reyes when he left to sign a multi-year deal with the Marlins following the 2011 season.

They have explored free agents such as Stephen Drew and Jhonny Peralta, and explored acquiring Troy Tulowitzki in a trade the Rockies, his former club.

But the Mets have never been able to plug the whole to their own satisfaction, despite trying to improve upon the patchwork solutions they’ve employed with Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada, and Omar Quintanilla in those years since Reyes departed.

The Mets are once again endeavoring to find a solution to their below average answers at the position, exploring players in both free agency and trade, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

But one player which has often been tied to the Mets over the last couple of years could be headed elsewhere if a deal gets completed.

Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports the Yankees and Cubs are in talks for a trade involving Starlin Castro and Brett Gardner. Continue reading

Heyman’s notes: Padres scouting Mets, not fans of Segura or Castro, Rollins is unlikely

Justin Upton, Yangervis Solarte

BaronTrade winds are beginning to blow harder and harder around the game. And the Mets appear to be exploring multiple ways to improve their sub-competitive offense ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.

Here is the latest from CBS Sports/MLB Network’s Jon Heyman on the Mets and their search for bats:

  • Padres scouts are said to be watching the Mets minor league system, which raises speculation about possible interest in OF Justin Upton. Upton is a great fit for the Mets both in the short and long-term, but can be a free agent at the end of the year, meaning if he’s moved, he is ineligible to receive a qualifying offer if he elects free agency after the World Series.
  • The Mets are not enamored with Brewers SS Jean Segura despite Jon Morosi of FOX Sports saying on Friday the club is talking to the Brewers about a possible deal involving the 25-year-old shortstop.
  • They have the same sentiments as well as Cubs SS Starlin Castro, who is owed $41 million through 2020. Castro, 25, has been below league average at shortstop defensively and has posted a -0.5 WAR in 2015 while hitting .251 with five home runs and 27 RBI. However, Castro’s 583 hits since 2012 are the fifth-most during that span.
  • Regarding diminished Dodgers SS Jimmy Rollins, a Mets executive told Heyman they, “wouldn’t go there.”
  • Despite improved an improved performance over the last month, the industry is not particularly intrigued with Jon Niese.
  • The Mets had been thought to be progressing on a deal for A’s utility player Ben Zobrist. Joel Sherman of the New York Post said last week Alderson’s interests are high enough in the soon-to-be free agent that the club would consider an above-market value deal for the super-utility player. But for now, A’s GM Billy Beane  is not currently making Zobrist available, according to Sherman.

For details on Upton, check out Rich MacLeod’s story from yesterday, which includes four other outfielders the Mets could consider.

For more on Segura, check out this post from Friday morning.

Cubs believe a deal could eventually transpire with the Mets

Noah Syndergaard Steven Matz

BaronThroughout the winter, logic suggested the Mets would entertain and eventually deal from their crop of top pitching prospects to acquire a difference-making bat, particularly on the middle infield.

However, such a trade never materialized.

Part of that was Zack Wheeler had a privately known injury to his elbow and was eventually lost for at least a full season. Knowing that limited the number of chips they could move, and would sacrifice much-needed starting pitching depth, something which has proved immediately necessary in their starting rotation.

The team’s strategy has not changed, particularly with both Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, according to the Daily News’ John Harper, as team insiders said they’re now even less likely to trade either of them going forward.

Addison RussellPart of that, according to Harper, is the Mets prefer to proceed with their plan of having Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz as the future of their starting rotation. They also believe SS prospect Amed Rosario has a bright future, although he is still a couple of years away.

That hasn’t stopped the Mets from being interested in one of the Cubs young prospects, according to Harper of the Daily News.

Sandy Alderson was said to have contacted the Cubs about the availability of Addison Russell, Harper says, as he preferred Russell’s potential over Starlin Castro’s track record.

I had heard some rumblings the Mets made one of their pitching prospects available to teams under the right circumstances this winter. Presumably that meant the Mets could move one of their prizes for someone considered to be a difference maker, such as Russell or Troy Tulowitzki. However, the prices were well beyond just one of their pitching prospects, as I understood it, so nothing ever materialized.

For now, they look wise to retain these pitchers, considering everything that has happened. However, eventually the Mets must find a bat somewhere, and they have to find a way to get better defensively. They are not going to outhit the mistakes and lack of range on the middle infield in particular, even when David Wright eventually gets back and shores up their infield defense.

Harper says the Mets and Cubs could eventually come together on a trade. Cubs President Theo Epstein didn’t discount such a possibility in the future, although he is not motivated to make any hasty moves with his young and promising club.

“If there is, there is. Those things are always easier in internet chat rooms than they are in reality,” Epstein told Mike Vorkunov of the Star Ledger about the rumors and possibility of a deal between the Mets and Cubs.

Meanwhile, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times a deal will, “happen at some point,” between the Mets and Cubs and expects to speak with the Mets in the future.

“We haven’t made a deal yet, but there’s been matches that made sense, and I’m sure we’ll talk to them in the future,” Hoyer told Wittenmyer.

To clarify, Hoyer could simply be suggesting the two clubs matchup well to fit each other’s needs (which they have, do and will continue to do so), and it’s not a surprise at all the Cubs would be interested in the Mets pitching prospects. It’s all about price, for both sides, and whether or not they can eventually agree to terms of a deal. That may or may not happen, considering both sides have assigned extremely high values to their chips.

Wittenmyer believes a deal is more likely to involve Javier Baez, who is playing some shortstop at Triple-A Iowa.

Original Post, 10:42 am, updated 4:45 pm