Brown: Mets Trade Chips Aren't Bringing Back Anything Special

Jake Brown
July 05, 2018 - 12:16 pm

By Jake Brown 

At 34-49 and flirting with last place in the NL East past the halfway point of the season, any hope for the Mets playing in October is out the window. This team is going to be very active before the trade deadline arrives on July 31. They have a major problem though...the guys are looking to deal aren't getting them anything of value in return.

Take out Jacob deGrom and Noah Synderaard. The Mets should be trying to build around deGrom, not trade him. The only way they trade him is if they are blown away with an offer, which isn't likely. Syndergaard should also not be atop the Mets list to deal, especially since his value trying to come back from an injury isn't as high as if he were healthy. Outside their top two starters, any other trade chip on the roster likely isn't even getting them a decent prospect. Looking at the Mets history of trades, they have swung and missed on deals more often than not.

It doesn't help that at this crucial time the Mets don't really have a true GM with Sandy Alderson gone. They are using a three-headed monster in John Ricco, Omar Minaya, and JP Ricciardi, which doesn't exactly ooze confidence into a fan base that has been through nothing but torture since the hot 11-1 start to the season. A now depleted farm system needs to be restocked, but sadly there isn't much to trade to restock. 

Let's take a look at five players that will be on the block, but likely won't get them much of anything in return. 

Asdrubal Cabrera

Asdrubal Cabrera is really the only guy that has may have some sort of value for a playoff team that needs an infielder. The issue is that it's going to be a two-month rental whoever wants him as he becomes a free agent after the season. Cabrera is putting up an impressive season, hitting .284 with 15 HR and 48 RBI. At 32 and a dozen years in the league under his belt, he isn't exactly in the prime of his career. The best he's really going to get the Mets is maybe a mid-level prospect.

Trading Cabrera would give them an opening at second base where they can give Jeff McNeil a chance, though. McNeil is tearing it up in both double-A and now triple-A this season, hitting .343 with 17 HR and 59 RBI, and a .413 OBP. They also have Gavin Cecchini awaiting, but he's been out with a foot injury. The Mets really should see what they have in both McNeil and Cecchini so they can determine the direction they head in at second base next year. 

Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler has pitched well enough lately to potentially have some value to a team that can give him some run support. If there's a starter the Mets should go out and see what they can get, it's Wheeler. The issue with Wheeler has been his injury concerns and his inability to pitch deep into games. Wheeler has got into or through the 7th inning in about a third of his starts this season. While he's been shaky, he's got better as the season has gone on and has good stuff.

But yet again, the inconsistency and injury concerns means he's not going to get them more than one or two mid-level prospects. If they can somehow get a top prospect for him, they have to pull the trigger.  It might not be worth trading him if you're not going to get a nice return, considering he's still costing the Mets very little, and is arbitration eligible again next season. That could also be a reason that other teams will want him, so the Mets can try and sell high here before he inevitably gets hurt again. 

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Steven Matz 

Steven Matz may just be the most valuable name on this list. He's a lefty and he's been tremendous for this team all season. He's also done something he's never been able to do in his career...stay healthy. Matz hasn't landed on the DL all season, which might mean the Mets should try and deal him before that does happen. Matz is another guy who has trouble pitching deep into games, but nonetheless, he's been impressive in 2018. Matz has a 3.46 ERA in 16 starts this season. The down side of trading Matz is that he's under team control until 2022, so you're going to have him for cheap until then. Unless you can get a top prospect, it may not be worth trading him at this point. 

Jeurys Familia 

The Mets really need to do all they to move Jeurys Familia and get a prospect in return. It makes no sense to keep Familia from a few standpoints. First off, most Mets fans have had enough of him. He's never been good big games, and it's difficult watching him blow games. You remember his shaky outings more than his good ones, and this team needs to move on from the Familia era.

Also, he's going to be a free agent. There's no need for him anymore this season. The Mets are better off seeing what they have in the likes of Drew Smith, who they got in the Lucas Duda trade, and even a guy like Tim Peterson. There are always teams that need help in their bullpen, and Familia is good enough to get the Mets a mid-level prospect. The front office is doing the team a disservice if they don't get anything for him/keep him. 

Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce is going to be the toughest guy on this list to find a suitor for multiple reasons. First off, he's hurt right now with a hip injury, and you can't trade a guy who is hurt. Secondly, Bruce has been atrocious this season. It's almost hard to fathom his stat line. He's hitting .212 with a measly three homers and 17 RBI. His OBP is .292 and his OPS is .613. Bruce was unwatchable before he landed on the DL, while Brandon Nimmo thrived. With Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Yoenis Cespedes, there's also no use for Bruce, especially with the way he's hitting. 

Finally, his contract is going to be the real detriment to trying to deal him. Bruce signed a three-year, $39 million deal before the season. At the time, it seemed like a nice bargain. Now, it's looking like a contract they could be stuck with. If Bruce returns before the deadline and shows some life, the Mets could potentially work a deal with a team that needs an outfielder and can match an equally bad contract. The two names that could match up are potentially Bryan Shaw from the Rockies or Zack Cozart from the Angels. Shaw has been awful this season, but a change of scenery from Colorado could make a difference and the Mets could use help in the bullpen. Cozart is out for the season after shoulder surgery and makes about the same as Bruce. The Mets would be taking a risk there, but not many Mets fans would not have a huge issue with getting Cozart for Bruce and playing him at second base next season. 

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Wilmer Flores, Jerry Blevins 

Wilmer Flores has been hot of late, but he's become a fan favorite for this team, and he's also been clutch. Also, he's not good defensively. He's been playing first base, but doesn't have a true position outside of first and third. Flores isn't getting them anything of true value in return. He's also under team control next season as well, so maybe they try and trade him next season. 

Jerry Blevins has been a huge disappointment this season. Plenty of teams could use a left reliever, but is his 4.79 ERA getting the Mets anything in return? It might be worth trading him since he will be a free agent and get some prospect in return. 

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