These are cagy times for the New York Mets.
After the acquisition of Marcus Stroman, they have one of the most imposing starting rotations in baseball.
But for a franchise that still has not portrayed a tangible direction and stuck to it, the Mets are still very much in the middle of trade talks involving Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and closer Edwin Diaz.
It all might just be a smokescreen, though.
Multiple reports indicate that the Mets would have to be blown out of the water with a trade proposal to part with any three of their arms.
The baseball world was given an idea of what general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is looking for in the latest reports coming out of Boston.
In need of bullpen help, the Red Sox inquired about snagging Diaz from the Mets, but ESPN’s Buster Olney hinted that the Mets wanted outfielder Andrew Benintendi in return on ESPN’s “Get Up!” (h/t NBC Sports Boston).
The 25-year-old left fielder is one of Boston’s best young hitters, averaging .280 with 15 home runs over the past three seasons.
Olney added that the Red Sox discussed including Jackie Bradley Jr. in a deal instead of Benintendi.
There seemed to be no traction as multiple reports on Tuesday morning indicated a deal would be unlikely.
That doesn’t mean Diaz is safe from trade rumors just yet.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com reported that the Mets are continuing to scout the Atlanta Braves’ top prospects with Diaz a more likely target than Wheeler.
The Braves have five top-100 prospects including outfielders Cristian Pache (No. 11) and Drew Waters (No. 27).
Olney revealed that the Tampa Bay Rays are also “doing background work” on Diaz.
Looking at the available starters, it seems as though Syndergaard trade talks have lost steam over the past 24 hours. New York’s high asking price either has teams second-guessing or abandoning negotiations.
As for Wheeler, however, the Houston Astros remain the favorites to sign the right-hander as they are “working hard” to get a deal done, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Wheeler will be a free agent following the 2019 season, but a deep Astros farm system would provide the chance of the Mets getting a solid return, regardless.