Starting pitching is the primary goal of the Mets before the deadline for changes in MLBteam general manager Zack Scott confirmed this week. They started early, acquiring Rich Hill. But the veteran mountaineer is likely not the only New Yorkers’ move.
The Mets have a solid (but not decisive) lead in the NL East lead. The team could reaffirm its position by corroborating what was done in the offseason, by impacting the exchange market. This is the week of the hypothetical swapsSo we got some writers from MLB.com to do that. Here the Five possible Mets reinforcements that would impact the market.
1. Mets host: Joey Gallo, OF
Rangers get: Ronny Mauricio, SS (Mets No. 2 prospect), JT Ginn, RHP (No. 6)
Why It Would Work: With the Mets having solved some rotation problems by acquiring Rich Hill, let’s focus on the lineup. When it comes to Gallo, his home runs are gigantic, something that would go down well in a city that amplifies everything.
But it’s not just the power that Gallo brings in the middle of the lineup. He’s also under contract for another season (via umpiring) and has the versatility to play either corner of the outfield – or potentially the infield corner as well, if necessary.
2. Mets host: Jon Gray, RHP and Mychael Givens, RHP
Rockies get: Mark Vientos, 3B (No. 8 club prospect), Jordany Ventura, RHP (No. 19)
Why it would work: Even after acquiring Hill, the Mets still need pitching and would be beefing up the rotation and bullpen at the same time, with a couple of players for hire. It’s tempting to watch Gray pitch outside of Coors Field, though it’s important to note that he has pretty much the same career numbers on and off the home field. Anyway, it would be interesting to see him in another setting, thinking about a case similar to what Kevin Gausman has experienced this year in San Francisco.
3. Mets host: José Berríos, RHP
Twins get: Ronny Mauricio, SS (Mets No. 2 Prospect), Robert Dominguez, RHP (No. 13), Tylor Megill (No. 21)
Why it would work: The Mets need a durable starter who throws a good number of innings. No commercially available pitcher (other than Max Scherzer) combines more quality and quantity of innings than Puerto Rican Berríos, who has never been on the disabled list since he debuted in 2016.
Yes, the Twins are expected to ask the world for Berríos – as they should. He has the highest strikeout rate of his career and has one more year of control. There are many who think that the Puerto Rican will not be changed, with Minnesota thinking of arming again for next year.
4. Mets get: Kris Bryant, 3B / 1B / OF Kris Bryant
Cubs get: Ronny Mauricio, SS (No. 2 Mets prospect), Tylor Megill, RHP (No. 21)
Why It Would Work: It seems we’ve been waiting years for a Mets / Cubs trade for a big name, why not do it now? Bryant has cooled off a bit since the season started hot, but he still represents a considerable improvement for any team. And that is considering him only in the anteroom, but he has more defensive flexibility. With the Mets’ offensive need, it seems like an obvious destination.
5. Mets get: Whit Merrifield, 2B / OF
Royals receive: Khalil Lee, OF (club’s No. 7 prospect), Mark Vientos, 3B (No. 8)
Why it would work: You never have a lot of flexibility, and the Mets are no exception. In fact, they are far from that, given all the injuries. In his bid for a crown in the NL East, adding Merrifield would not only bolster the lineup with a guy who has led the Majors twice in hits, but you also have someone who can defend second base (has seen time in the box corners in minors) and all outfield positions – he’s a defensive unicorn.
Merrifield is having a tough year at bat, but he had a great June (.351 / .375 / .544) and started Friday leading baseball with 25 steals.
Anthony Castrovince, Matt Kelly, Sarah Langs, Manny Randhawa and Andrew Simon / MLB.com