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Mets Trade Pitch: Sending Zack Wheeler and more to the Rangers

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 07: Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets looks on against the Philadelphia Phillies during their game at Citi Field on July 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 07: Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets looks on against the Philadelphia Phillies during their game at Citi Field on July 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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ARLINGTON, TEXAS – JUNE 19: Joe Palumbo #62 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The prospect haul

In return for trading away those three players to the Texas Rangers, the Mets should receive right-handed pitcher Hans Crouse, outfielder Bubba Thompson, and left-handed pitcher Joe Palumbo.

Crouse would be the highlight of the group, as he is ranked as the top pitching prospect in the Rangers farm system. He is a “power pitcher”, known for a mid-to-high 90s fastball. He is currently 20 years old and plays in Single-A baseball. Through 12 starts in 2019, he has a 3.71 ERA over 51.0 innings with 52 strike outs and only 11 walks. He is far from major league ready, but possesses a lot of raw talent and is projected to debut in the majors in 2021.

Thompson is the Rangers’ 5th ranked prospect and is currently 21 years old. He plays in A+ in the Texas minor league organization. He has only appeared in 16 games this season due to injury, but in 2018, he played in 84 games in Single-A, batting .289 with a .344 OBP, hitting 8 home runs with 42 RBI and 32 stolen bases. He is a speedy outfielder, capable of playing all three positions, hits for average and a bit of power, and is projected to debut in the majors in 2021.

Lastly, Palumbo is a southpaw and is ranked as Texas’ 7th best prospect. His repertoire consists of a mid-90s fastball with a solid change-up, and he has a reputation as a big strike out pitcher.

Of the three, he is the closest to major league ready, having already been called up to the majors this season, where he appeared in three games for the Rangers, starting two of them before being sent back down to the minors. Between Double-A and Triple-A in 2019, Palumbo appeared in 13 games, starting 12 of them, with a 3.29 ERA over 63.0 innings with 83 Ks, and at the very least, should return to the majors in September when the rosters expand.

Obtaining these three players in a trade would make the package I believe the Mets should offer the Rangers well worth it. It would free up Ramos’ salary for the 2020 season, and in return, New York would get two solid starting pitching prospects and a player that could be our center fielder of the future.

Palumbo is nearly major league ready and could potentially replace Wheeler’s spot in the major league rotation right away. Moving players like Smith and Ramos would allow younger players like JD Davis and Tomas Nido to start more regularly for the remainder of the season. It would also open up roster spots in the near future for others.

Next. Three second-half objectives for Brodie Van Wagenen

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