Last year the Mets made a splash in the trade market that solidified their roster and drove them all the way to the World Series. While there’s still time for the Mets to make moves ahead of this year’s deadline, fans had better not get their hopes up.
With the Mets in dire need of outside help, mostly due to injury, GM Sandy Alderson purchased James Loney from San Diego on May 28. Loney has been a revelation, batting .300 after nearly a month of action in lieu of Lucas Duda at first base. He’s also been solid in the field.
History repeated itself on June 8 when Alderson picked up Kelly Johnson from Atlanta in exchange for relief pitcher Akeel Morris, who made a brief appearance with the Mets last season. The results have been good for the utility-man so far; Johnson’s batting .303 with two home runs going into Monday night’s game.
And then there is this weekend’s signing of Jose Reyes. At 33 years of age, Reyes is certainly not the player he was when he was in a Mets uniform a few years ago. But the Mets are hopeful he can serve as another utility-man, as the options they’ve brought up from Triple-A haven’t been inspiring.
Brandon Nimmo went 0-for-4 in his first start as a Met on Sunday, Ty Kelly batted just .148 in a pair of stints this year, and Matt Reynolds is still a work in progress (.265 in 34 ABs).
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At this point the question shouldn’t be whether the Mets are willing to break the bank or not, but whether or not the cupboard is bare.
The move that set the wheels in motion last season was the Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson deal with Atlanta, one in which the Mets sacrificed an MLB-ready pitcher (John Gant) and their 18th overall prospect (pitcher Robert Whalen).
Later on the Mets gave up two pitching prospects to Arizona for Addison Reed, and pitcher Casey Meisner (currently Oakland’s number-11 prospect) for Tyler Clippard.
Of course, the centerpiece transaction of last season was the Yoenis Cespedes trade, which cost the Mets Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa. Fulmer is 7-2 with a 2.54 ERA in Detroit this year, and Cessa will get a chance in the Yankees bullpen this season.
One bargaining chip the Mets have that fans are well aware of is Zack Wheeler, who was nearly shipped to Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez before that deal fell through. But according to Newsday, the Mets have “close to zero interest” in dealing Wheeler once more as, “the Mets view Wheeler as an integral part of their second-half plans.”
Help is out there for the ailing Mets though; infielders Yunel Escobar of the Angels and Danny Valencia of the A’s are just two of the names that have been circulating the rumor mill lately. The Mets may have inroads to Valencia, since they dealt with Oakland for Clippard last year.
It remains to be seen what the Mets will do (they certainly haven’t been standing pat), but there may not be another Cespedes-like trade on the horizon.