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Mets: Why a trade for reliever Blake Treinen is worth exploring

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 20: Blake Treinen #39 of the Oakland Athletics delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning of the game on July 20, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Athletics defeated the Twins 5-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 20: Blake Treinen #39 of the Oakland Athletics delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning of the game on July 20, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Athletics defeated the Twins 5-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen is on the trade block and a change of scenery could help him rebound in 2019. For this reason and more, he’s worth the New York Mets’ attention.

Oakland Athletics reliever Blake Treinen is a year closer to free agency and is reportedly on the team’s trade block. Rather than hold onto him for the final year of arbitration-eligibility and hope he rebounds, the team is rumored to have an interest in trading him. It’s good news for the New York Mets. They need all of the relief help they can get.

Treinen has had an interesting career. He began with the Washington Nationals in 2014 and put together three solid seasons. In 2016, Treinen looked like a future big-league closer.

Unfortunately, when given the opportunity to close for the 2017 Nationals, Treinen fell flat on his face. He posted a 5.73 ERA in 37.2 innings for the Washington club before he was shipped to the Athletics as part of a midseason blockbuster trade for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson.

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Much to everyone’s surprise, Treinen immediately rebounded. He finished 2017 with a 2.13 ERA in Oakland. In 2018, he stepped his game up even further. Treinen saved 38 games while posting an outstanding 0.78 ERA in 80.1 innings of work. He finished sixth in the Cy Young vote, temporarily making the Nationals rue the day they traded him.

Things weren’t so spectacular for Treinen in 2019 thus leading to his presence on the trade block. He went 6-5 in 58.2 innings of work while saving 16 games. His ERA rose to 4.91 which is still about two runs higher than his career total.

Treinen did it before and he may do it again. The last time he changed ball clubs, he excelled. If the Mets are lucky, they could be the ones who capitalize on a little bit of history repeating.

Despite poor numbers in 2019, we shouldn’t expect the Athletics to hand Treinen over to the Mets or anyone else. They’d be looking for younger players in a deal either still in the minor leagues or in the pre-arbitration stage of their career. I would think a starting pitcher candidate ready to have an impact in the coming years may be the main target. If so, someone coming off a good year and nearing his big league debut like Kevin Smith may be the headliner headed to Oakland.

It’s purely speculation on my part. And as anyone who has spent a nanosecond on Twitter knows, the teams we follow often get the best of any trade scenario proposed.

Last year’s trade for Edwin Diaz may make Brodie Van Wagenen a little more hesitant to trade away top prospects for relief help. Though Treinen isn’t going to cost the same level of minor league talent as the Mets gave up in that deal, it’s always worrisome just how much a general manager may give up until he proves he can make a winning swap.

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If the Mets did get Treinen, we would have to hope 2019 was a result of juiced baseballs and a guy having an atypically bad year. At the right price and with only one year of commitment, he’s certainly a possibility for a team in some serious need.

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