We’re in the final stretch before the 2019 Major League Baseball trade deadline, which comes at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday evening. Still, the baseball world isn’t quite sure what the New York Mets are going to do.
For a franchise once thought to be sellers, the Mets are in the midst of their hottest streak of the season. They have won six of their last seven games, are on a five-game winning streak for the first time this year, have gone 11-5 since the All-Star break, and are just five games out of the National League Wild Card.
False hope? Maybe.
The Mets have a plethora of teams still to jump in the standings over the final two months of the season to sneak into that one-game playoff. But that didn’t stop general manager Brodie Van Wagenen from doubling down as he picked up All-Star starter Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays.
At the time of his acquisition on Sunday, the Mets suddenly stumbled upon the most imposing rotation in baseball as Stroman joined reigning Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz.
Jason Vargas quickly became the odd man out and was promptly shipped to the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
However, the trade winds surrounding the Mets rotation refused to die down as Syndergaard and Wheeler remained hot commodities on the market.
Legitimate contenders in dire need of pitching help still see the Mets as a team positioning themselves for 2020, and they might be right. But Van Wagenen placed a high price on Syndergaard’s arm as he desired MLB-ready help to ensure the Mets stay competitive.
If there was any indication that Syndergaard would be on the move, it died down on Tuesday night when he took the hill against the Chicago White Sox. Syndergaard starred in his first-ever start at Guaranteed Rate Field, striking out 11 in 7.1 innings of work while not allowing a single earned run.
If the Mets had serious intentions of trading him, they should not have risked the chance of injury by rolling him out just hours before the deadline.
According to Joel Sherman of MLB Network, Syndergaard was “pulled off the trade market” on Tuesday.
While it offered hope to Mets fans that the impressive rotation would stay intact through the end of 2019, they’re not out of the woods yet.
The Mets recalled veteran starter Ervin Santana from Triple-A Syracuse prior to Tuesday night’s game, suggesting that the Mets are still going to trade a prominent arm — most likely Wheeler.
Among interested parties are the Houston Astros, who also expressed plenty of interest in Syndergaard over the past few weeks. Wheeler, however, is a cheaper trade target this summer as his contract expires at the end of the year.
Regardless, the Mets will still look for a return that offers players that will immediately contribute to the big-league club and not the farm system. Per Sherman, as many as nine teams have been in talks with the Mets concerning Wheeler, which means they’ll have their pick of the litter on Wednesday.