This winter could include several key trades for the New York Mets. These three players, for very different reasons, are candidates to see their name appear in a swap.
The New York Mets didn’t make any notable trades last winter, but this offseason could look different. In fact, they have several guys to shop around the league.
We heard all trade deadline season that the Mets would make significant moves. Other than dealing Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera, they stayed quiet. We could see some August deals, but it’s doubtful.
The offseason a time for big moves and even bigger changes to the roster. Instead of trying to build a contender through free agency, the Mets need to make smart, savvy moves. Not all of the trades will do this. Some may simply clear the space on the roster for other deals.
There are lots of players to consider dealing and these three Mets are movable for far different reasons.
When Citi Field’s center field is patrolled by Juan Lagares, not too many balls fall in safely. The problem has been frequency. Lagares is an injury waiting to happen. He proved this more than ever with an early season-ending injury in 2018.
Lagares is expected to make a full recovery. The challenge for the Mets is getting the most for him despite the positive outlook.
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Before hitting the disabled list, Lagares hit plenty at the plate. In 64 chances he hit .339/.375/.390. Though well above what he would have finished a complete season with, the fast start caught attention.
Any team looking to add Lagares is guaranteed to land a superior defender. The problem here is that teams want more than that for $9 million a year. This is the cost of Lagares’ services in 2019. It’s tough to imagine anyone other than the Mets accepting such a high total for someone of his caliber.
The Mets face a roster crunch in 2019, specifically with the outfield. Yoenis Cespedes won’t return for at least a few weeks into the season, if at all, which could give them time to figure things out. Beginning the year with Lagares may make sense. However, finding a willing trade partner in May or June could be impossible.
An offseason trade involving Lagares likely involves eating a part of the contract. For sure, we know he’s a part-time player. The penny-pinching transactions suggest they would rather move the money for a lesser return than actually swap Lagares for something valuable.
Either way, it’s going to be tough for everyone to get the right amount of playing time next year. Something has to give. As the guy with the contract about to expire after 2019, it makes sense for Lagares to become the casualty.