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Mets: Five trade ideas to acquire a new center fielder for the 2020 season

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 10: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox rounds third base after hitting a home run in the first inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 10: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox rounds third base after hitting a home run in the first inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 08: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during batting practice prior to game four of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on October 08, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Kevin Kiermaier for 1B Dominic Smith and No. 12 prospect LHP Thomas Szapucki

It’s interesting to note that Jackie Bradley Jr. would have won his second consecutive Gold Glove in 2019 had it not been for this next center field option for the Mets – Kevin Kiermaier.  At age 29, he’s in the prime of his career. Although he isn’t known for his bat, adding him as the Mets outfield general would significantly improve their defense, which has been a shaky aspect of their roster. Still, his offensive numbers are not terrible.

In 125 games started in center field this past season, Kiermaier collected 41 extra-base hits while driving in 55 RBIs. Adding him though would be the equivalent of adding a more well-rounded Juan Lagares with some home run pop and above-average fielding.

However, just because this Mets fan wants him does not mean the Tampa Bay Rays have any plans or even remote interest in moving him this offseason. That is why it would take the right deal to entice the Rays, who always seem to be looking for young talent to replenish their roster when their older and more established players begin signing elsewhere for more money when they hit free agency.

However, the reality is that they did re-sign Kiermaier, so the Mets deal would have to be very enticing, and that process begins with informing them that Dominic Smith could be their new first baseman in 2020.

And just to sweeten the deal, I would package Smith with the Mets No. 12 prospect Thomas Szapucki– but that is as far as I would go.

Granted, this deal would be a stretch, as the Rays are coming off an impressive 2019 season, and trading away one of their top outfielders does not make sense for a team trying to compete despite their frugal way of investing in players. And yet, they did invest in Kiermaier, which means the Mets would need to propose a competitive deal. And even then, this is no sure thing.

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