Could Mets be players if Manny Machado gets dealt?

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 04: Manny Machado /

Rumors are buzzing that Manny Machado could be dealt this winter if the two sides can’t come together on a long-term deal

Over the next several months, Mets fans will undoubtedly hear a lot of conjecture, loose ties, and educated guesses about the team’s off-season plan. In a recent Boston Globe article, Nick Cafardo discusses the possibility of Manny Machado being traded this winter and lists the Mets as a potential candidate.

Machado just turned 25 and is entering the prime of his career. He is currently hitting .273, and that’s after starting the year poorly. Machado was hitting at a .215 clip through July 6, but has gotten back on track at the plate. Simply put, this would be the chance to acquire a bona fide star.

Such a move would instantly solve the Mets’ defensive questions at third base. Asdrubal Cabrera is the best currently healthy option for the hot corner on the current roster. Machado would bring the reputation of a two-time Gold Glover, and range that could only be rivaled at his position by Nolan Arenado.

Even with the sluggish start, Machado is on pace to go over 100 RBI in a season for the first time in his career. For his career, Machado gets on base about as often against righties (.332 OBP) as he does against lefties (.334 OBP).

Hypothetically, if the Mets were to be in the running for Machado, they may be a long shot. The farm system has been modestly built up, but it would take a lot to swing a deal for the three-time all-star. Most of the teams they would be in competition with would have more to offer. If the Mets were to pull off a deal then the questions of re-signing him would also come into play before he hits the market next off-season.

There are many layers in play. The Mets did make a creative move for AJ Ramos this summer in hopes of being a contender for 2018. The timing also fits with the money the team saved through trades even though it’s far from a guarantee they’ll look to add significant payroll. Machado would obviously command a good chunk of money in his final year of arbitration eligibility this winter.

The third base free agent market doesn’t have many options either. Beyond the often discussed Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier, the next best player on the market would be utilityman, Danny Valencia. This excludes Mark Reynolds who has shifted to being a first baseman in the latter portion of his career.

Next: Brandon Nimmo making most of playing time

Chalk it up as one of many ties you’ll read in what should be one of the more interesting Mets off-seasons in recent memory.