New York Mets News

Mets could benefit from injury to Indians’ pitcher Danny Salazar

By Jose Rivera
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Starting pitcher Danny Salazar #31 of the Cleveland Indians delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 5, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Starting pitcher Danny Salazar #31 of the Cleveland Indians delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 5, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Now that the Cleveland Indians may need a starting pitcher, it’s time the New York Mets get on the phone with them and strike a trade.

Last Monday, the American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians received news that Danny Salazar will get arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. Salazar, who missed most of last year will not pitch again in 2018 as well. With the New York Mets possibly selling at the trade deadline, it seems as if the Amazins may have found a good opportunity to cut a deal.

The Indians seem to have the American League Central on lock. They entered the month of July with an 11.5 game lead over the second place Detroit Tigers. If we are being honest, the Indians may not have to worry about anyone catching them.

The Indians are as solid of a team as they come to the American League. On paper, their bullpen is one of the best being led by guys like Cody Allen and Andrew Miller. They have an electric offense led by Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. But their rotation although having a Cy Young award winner is somewhat fragile and may not be the best out of the contending American League teams.

Cleveland could use another strong arm to give them a solid one-two punch come playoff time.

The first name that comes to mind would be none other than the ace of the Mets, Jacob deGrom. deGrom has had a stellar season for New York as in 107.1 innings pitched, he has posted a 1.84 ERA. Although his win-loss record does not reflect it (5-4), he has put together a Cy Young quality year as he has also struck out 134 batters.

A rotation of Corey Kluber and deGrom to start off any playoff series will have any team in the opponents’ dugout pretty nervous to step up to the plate.

We all know how deGrom would benefit the Indians, but the real question is how can the Mets make this trade worth their while. deGrom’s’ great 2018 demands a good return and that would include Indians top prospect Francisco Mejia.

Mejia has been in triple-A all season playing for the Columbus Clippers and has played 71 games. In 71 games he has a batting average of .283 and has hit 7 home runs and driven in 42 RBI’s. Of course, the Mets could use an upgrade at catcher but what is even more intriguing is the fact that Mejia spent the entire time in the Arizona fall league in 2017 working at third base.

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This would be a no-brainer for the Mets to ask for Mejia because it is clear that two positions that the New York may want to upgrade are at catcher and at third base.

Mejia is the Indians top prospect and they may not be entirely willing to part ways with him. The Mets do have some cheaper options when it comes to trade bait as it has been rumored that Zack Wheeler is also available. But the Mets should listen to offers for anyone at this point including other pitchers like Steven Matz and Seth Lugo.

Although guys like Matz and Lugo would not command a name in return like Mejia, it could set up other potential trades with Cleveland for other players in their system like pitcher Triston McKenzie and third baseman Nolan Jones.

McKenzie is the Indians’ second best prospect and is ranked 21st amongst the MLB top 100 prospects. McKenzie who is just 20 years old has had a solid 2018 so far in Double-A playing for the Akron Rubberducks.

He is currently 3-2 with a 3.34 ERA and in 32.1 innings pitched he has held batters to a .195 batting average while also striking out 26 batters and walking only 7. McKenzie is also ranked as the 8th best prospect amongst right-handed pitchers.

As for Jones, he is another 20 year old in the Indians system who currently players for the Single-A Lake County Captains. Jones who was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft had to switch positions after outgrowing the position of shortstop.

In 2018, Jones has hit 11 doubles and 9 home runs in 249 at-bats and has a batting average of .265. His strikeouts are a little on the high side with a total of 78 but scouts believe he will grow into better power numbers that could make him a middle of the order threat.

Cleveland is poised to make another run at a world series title but it’s hard to imagine them being able to accomplish the goal without some help from the Mets. The Indians need pitching and the Mets want to retool.

Next: Possible Zack Wheeler trade destinations

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