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NY Mets pitching prospect Thomas Szapucki: Trade candidate or 2022 rotation option?

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Thomas Szapucki #63 of the New York Mets poses for a photo during Photo Day at Clover Park on February 20, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Thomas Szapucki #63 of the New York Mets poses for a photo during Photo Day at Clover Park on February 20, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
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Aug 31, 2018; San Francisco, CA, USA; General view of the New York Mets baseball glove and cap before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Why Thomas Szapucki brings value in a trade

Let’s pick a random team we know will not be contending this year. I’ll point at the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lovely ballpark. Wonderful fans. Horrible team.

In whatever trade the Mets and Pirates could make, Szapucki could slot right in as a starter on their big league roster. This is the case around baseball. Young arms on the fringe of making a big league club suddenly have a much bigger role to take on with another organization. They don’t wallow in the minors hoping for the skipper to give them the good news. They go right to the show.

If the Mets do view Szapucki as a trade candidate, this could explain their reluctance to use him in big league games. Why expose him and ruin some of the intrigue? Instead, use him as a trade chip with potential. General managers love that potential. It helps distract fans from all of the losing. They turn to each other every August after the trade deadline and insist the future will be bright!

One thing this current front office has not done yet is subtract significance from their farm system. To get better at this year’s trade deadline, they must do so.

Alternatively, the Mets could always keep him around. In 2022, maybe he becomes a legitimate rotation candidate.

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