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Mets: Trading for Jose Abreu this offseason could turn the offense around fast

DETROIT, MI - MAY 25: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox sits in the dugout following a 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 25, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MAY 25: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox sits in the dugout following a 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 25, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Should the New York Mets look into acquiring first baseman Jose Abreu this winter?

Since joining the Chicago White Sox in 2014, first baseman Jose Abreu has never finished a season with less than 25 home runs or 100 RBI. This may change in 2018, but that doesn’t mean he should leave the radar of the New York Mets.

One thing is pretty clear about the Mets: they need offense. They need a ton of it, too. Knowing Yoenis Cespedes will at least miss a few weeks at the start of 2019, it’s up to this team to add some pop in the offseason. Abreu is a big ticket item to consider.

It won’t be easy to land Abreu. Even though the White Sox would surely like to shed his salary and add young talent, that doesn’t mean they are ready to sell him cheap. He may be one of the most talked about trade chips this winter. As one of the last star players on the Southsiders in Chicago, Abreu has been there for the whole rollercoaster ride.

A challenge for the Mets this offseason is knowing where to add players. They have more than enough outfielders. The only obvious vacancies are at catcher and second base. The latter could get filled by Jeff McNeil with the former going to either Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki.

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This doesn’t sound like a better team. It looks like the 2018 roster with lower expectations. This could change if the Mets get aggressive and make a trade for Abreu.

Abreu reaches free agency after the 2019 campaign, so there is some urgency on the White Sox behalf to move him within the next year. They don’t seem like a squad in a position to extend him long-term. Now a year older and having his roughest big league season, the trade value is down, but only a bit. Abreu would still cost a lot and it’s a price I might be willing to pay if I’m running the Mets.

Before you breathe a sigh of relief that I’m not, let’s go over a plan.

Mets fans really want to see Peter Alonso take over at first base. As exciting as it is, he does seem more like an American League DH type. I’m willing to give him a full year in Triple-A in 2019 to really grow into a top prospect. In the interim, the Mets can run Abreu out to first base every day. By doing this, there’s no rush to call up prematurely and they have the option of going with the kid in 2020 or making a pair of moves to keep the proven veteran.

Whichever you do in this fantasy, I’m fine with it. Alonso is not ready to start at first base on Opening Day 2019.

The hard part here is prying Abreu away from the White Sox. What could we give them what they want?

Well, with the growth of the Mets farm system in 2018, I do think there’s enough to land a one-year rental.

Swapping an unknown like Alonso straight up for Abreu may sound nice in a fantasy baseball league. In reality, I’m not sure White Sox fans would accept this. Abreu has been important to their franchise even in these leaner years. Plus, this doesn’t help the Mets moving forward if they intend to move on from Abreu after 2019.

Mets fans will hate to hear this, but I would use David Peterson or Justin Dunn to headline the package. I have my doubts that both become top-level big league starters. The Mets could roll the dice and hope they deal away the one who becomes a bust.

Of course, it would take more to get Abreu, but not much else. Add in one more prospect at a position of need for the White Sox and I think we could have a deal.

The Mets apparently believe they can contend as soon as next season. It will take a lot more than the same 25-man roster they had at the start of 2018 to do so.

Abreu may not be the right answer to help the offensive woes. He’s just one example of the type of bat this team could lean on through the darker offensive days.

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Many will argue the Mets need to get younger. As true as it is, the more important objective is to get better. Abreu helps with this.

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