Mets and Yankees are not ideal trade partners in a possible Steven Matz deal
The New York Mets need to get a haul in return for any deal they make with the New York Yankees including one for Steven Matz.
Trades between the New York Mets and New York Yankees are rare. Negotiating trades in the major leagues can be complicated enough without the additional hurdle of both sides (in the back of their minds) trying their best to out-maneuver the other, knowing that if a mistake is made, it will remain in their backyard, haunting them for years to come.
Therefore, I can’t imagine there’s a deal to be made between the two based on the recent rumors.
The Mets are far from having an ‘excess’ of starting pitchers that would allow them to trade members of their current staff as it is. They have six or seven at best if we’re counting Seth Lugo, which we shouldn’t since he is not a part of that pool anymore. Hardly overflowing with starters, especially when you factor in the potential for injuries down the stretch – just look at the New York Yankees as a perfect example of why you can never have enough starting pitching.
And even if the blue and orange were in such a position, Steven Matz is one of the last players they should consider parting with. He’s their only left-handed starter, and the only other southpaw on their entire pitching staff (reliever, Justin Wilson being the other).
To me, that ends the conversation right there. Left-handed pitching is a premium in the majors, and without Matz, the Mets would have a rotation dominated by right-handed pitching.
Granted, it certainly seems feasible that their No. 7 prospect LHP David Peterson could make his debut in Queens later this summer, which would provide a possible replacement for the Long Island native, or otherwise supply the club with a second left-handed starter by retaining him.
Also, not for nothing, even with another southpaw moving up the ranks, the Mets have no reason to do the Yankees any favors now that SP Luis Severino has gone down with season-ending Tommy John surgery.
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Moreover, I don’t think the Mets want to trade Matz to any team let alone their cross-town rivals.
As Mike Puma of the New York Post reported during last July’s Trade Deadline, the Mets, “would likely have to be overwhelmed by a trade proposal” to deal Matz (or Syndergaard, who was also referenced in this quote at the time).
The Yankees would have to put together a great offer to make trading him feel worth it to Brodie Van Wagenen’s front office. It just doesn’t feel worthwhile for both teams. The Mets are in win-now mode, and prospects won’t cut it for Matz; even in the forms of RHP Clarke Schmidt or RHP Deivi Garcia.
The only Major League players the Yankees could offer to justify a trade like this would be: Clint Frazier, Chad Green, Miguel Andújar, or Estevan Florial.
In short, no position the Metropolitans need.
For Clint Frazier, the Mets couldn’t hope to get much more in return. Besides, he’s more of a corner outfielder, which they, unlike their pitching, do have in abundance. In short, there’s no empty spot for him to fill on the roster; much like his current standing with the Yankees.
There’s also the idea of trading Matz for reliever, Chad Green, which not only offers the Mets a position they have already filled in the offseason, but also would effectively leave them worse off. Green isn’t as good a reliever as Matz is a starter.
Matz for Miguel Andújar has its own problems. Not only is the third baseman’s history of injuries concerning, his position is already occupied by J.D. Davis (when healthy) and Jed Lowrie while also serving as a landing spot for Jeff McNeil to be moved around the field.
Lastly, trading for Estevan Florial would likely end with the Mets getting the short end of the stick. Although he’s a centerfielder, he’s young and too unproven to give up a pitcher like Matz at this stage of his career for a Mets team that’s in win-now mode. Sure, Florial at his best makes sense, but even the Yankees haven’t experienced him at his best. Why should the Mets take on that risk of him never living up to his potential?
The Mets need an ideal player in any swap with the Yankees. Someone that would be a good compliment to the players on their current roster: Athletic. Reliable on defense. Adaptable, and able to platoon. The Mets need an Enrique “Kike” Hernández type-player who can be a super-utility player and maintain a consistent level of play while coming off the bench.
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If he was on the Yankees, then this might be a reasonable discussion. Maybe even one worth having. But the reality of the situation is that the Mets current list of needs does not align well with whom the Yankees would be willing to trade.