According to the latest New York Mets trade rumors, the Pittsburgh Pirates may prefer prospects instead of Brandon Nimmo in a potential Starling Marte deal.
New York Mets trade rumors have gone rather silent over the last few days. This isn’t atypical during the Christmas week. Even though the Hot Stove has had action with Dellin Betances agreeing to a deal with the Mets and Edwin Encarnacion doing the same with the Chicago White Sox, talk of trades has dwindled.
On Thursday night, Jon Heyman of MLB Network did give an update on the latest Mets trade rumors. Longtime offseason target Starling Marte is still available via trade and instead of Brandon Nimmo, the Heyman reports the Pittsburgh Pirates may prefer prospects. From their standpoint it makes sense. The Pirates wouldn’t have another millionaire on the payroll and would get many more years of control from a minor leaguer.
From a Mets-eye-view, swapping Nimmo for Marte never sat right with me. Yes, Marte has a fatter resume and is a better fielder in center field—at least according to most numbers you’ll find. This doesn’t mean giving up on Nimmo this early in his career would make the Mets a better team in 2020 or 2021 when they would have control of Marte.
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For what it looks like Marte will cost, I’m still surprised the Mets have pushed as much as they have to acquire him. Nimmo isn’t a superstar and in certain instances, it makes sense to move him. However, trading him plus members of the farm system feels a little too lateral especially when it probably means the Mets won’t be able to spend in other areas.
Call me over-optimistic, but I kind of like the way the Mets offense lines up right now. In fact, I think it gets a little messier with Marte in the picture.
Nimmo doesn’t have the pedigree to guarantee himself 162 starts next year. With plenty of hope that Yoenis Cespedes can give the team anything and J.D. Davis is indeed the real deal, the team has plenty of capable weapons for the outfield.
Jake Marisnick would also provide the team with some stability in the late innings as a defensive replacement in center field. On any given day, he would be the guy to slot in up the middle with Nimmo or Michael Conforto sliding to a corner spot where they have looked more comfortable. It’s not a foolproof plan, but still much better than most teams can claim.
Offseason Mets trade rumors have, for the most part, seemed more speculative than anything else. Marte is the best player who seems like a realistic possibility. However, with each passing day, I’m not convinced he’s what the Mets need right now.
The danger with trading Nimmo to Pittsburgh for Marte is that the team needs to win a championship within the next two seasons. This may already be the case. The team will only have Conforto and Noah Syndergaard under contract for two more years. Say what you will about them, they’re both important pieces to the puzzle. I have trouble believing both are in Flushing for the 2022 campaign.
If the Mets truly are all-in for the next two seasons, Marte is someone they should indeed go after even with Nimmo as the price. They have yet to take the necessary action to make me believe all of the chips are in the center of the table. Other Mets trade rumors this winter have suggested the same.
As Heyman reports, a trade between the Mets and Pirates is not imminent. Their preference for prospects over Nimmo could certainly complicate things. A Mets team with the current outfield depth plus Marte puts too many chefs in the kitchen.
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While we may not see Nimmo go to Pittsburgh, I would have to think he gets traded elsewhere if Marte ends up in Queens.