Mets trade deadline has potential to resemble the 2017 fire sale
By Tim Boyle
If the New York Mets are in the position to sell at this year’s trade deadline we could see something similar to what the club did back in 2017
In 2017, the New York Mets were well out of the playoff race by the time the trade deadline arrived. The team had multiple players on expiring contracts which made it an easy decision to go into fire sale mode.
We saw the Mets trade just about everyone they could. This year, under similar circumstances with the payroll, we could see the Mets do another fire sale that resembles the one from three years ago.
The list of Mets players on expiring contracts is long. Starting pitchers Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha are all on there. Relievers Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson are also on the final year of their deals while Wilson Ramos has a club option for 2021.
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This doesn’t even cover all of the names. With so many players set to hit free agency at the end of this year, it might be an August of farewells.
Fortunately, it doesn’t look like any long-time Mets will become trade deadline casualties. Many of their free-agents-to-be came to the club within the last two years. There’s not much attachment to any of them.
To actually fall out of the playoff race, the Mets will need to have a miserable two weeks as the deadline approaches. About half of the season remains after the August 31 trade deadline which means there’s more than enough time to make up some ground.
Still, it makes little sense to hold onto players the club doesn’t intend to extend in advance when the team is going nowhere. Preferably, the Mets accept their fate and at least try to restock their farm system even minimally.
Something positive we can hold onto is the fact that it doesn’t appear any of the younger and more controllable players will go on the move anytime soon. A hot trade subject for many months, Dominic Smith now has plenty of chances to get into the lineup following Yoenis Cespedes’ decision to opt-out of the season. J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, and other core members also don’t look like trade candidates when considering how this roster is built.
I have a sense that even if the Mets are below .500 and struggling when August 31 arrives we won’t see anything more than some minor deals. Perhaps we see Porcello or Wacha moved for a minor leaguer.
The most interesting trade deadline case in a seller’s scenario would have been Stroman. Any team that looked to acquire him would only have a one-month rental. It would have also been for a guy that missed the start of the season due to an injury.
It didn’t work out that way. I originally had a whole gag written about how selling Stroman for less now is like cashing out your 401K early when the stock market goes down. Stroman’s decision to opt-out had me go back and revise a few things.
The trade deadline is still a few weeks away. One spectacular week can completely change the Mets’ plans.
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Just the same, one horrific week can put this team into a position to anything but buy.