New York Mets trade rumors are beginning to climb out from their cave and one of the first was related to Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson. The former MVP is certainly an intriguing piece for the Mets to potentially add. While not the superstar he was in his prime, Donaldson can still hit baseballs a long distance and with regularity.
It’s not just Donaldson the Mets could look at. Pitcher Jose Berrios, a guy with age on his side and plenty of fans in New York already, looks just as important to acquire. The Mets have faced multiple challenges at keeping their rotation healthy this year. Uncertainty about Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard could have them thinking about a blockbuster trade.
By acquiring Berrios and Donaldson, the front office makes one thing perfectly clear: the NL East is theirs to lose.
Why Jose Berrios and Josh Donaldson put the Mets over the top
Berrios is an excellent pitcher in only his age 27 season. Perhaps not a star on the level of many others, he has put together another fine year for the Twins in a season where not much has gone well for them.
Minnesota was hoping to contend this year. However, poor pitching and some absent hitting have put them in the seller’s category as the trade deadline approaches.
Adding Berrios helps the Mets hedge against losing Marcus Stroman or Syndergaard this winter. The same way the team went out and acquired Stroman in 2019 in order to protect themselves from losing Zack Wheeler (or so they say), this would add a capable arm to the rotation a year early. It’s a major win-now move and can only benefit them moving forward.
Donaldson is a little more precarious. He’s making over $20 million for the next several seasons. A decline has already begun, but how far will it fall?
I like Donaldson on the Mets even with J.D. Davis sticking around for the remainder of 2021. Davis could conceivably platoon with Dominic Smith in left field and give the team a starter-quality bat off the bench each day. As much fun as the bench mob was this year, their numbers are far from impressive. The same is true of the Mets starters.
Swinging this deal would likely deplete the Mets’ farm system of some major talent. This is especially true if Berrios ends up going to Flushing. He’s the far more valuable trade chip for the Twins. Donaldson is closer to a salary dump but not someone we could see traded for absolutely nothing.
The closer we get to the trade deadline, the more I think the Mets do have another trade in them that mimics the Francisco Lindor/Carlos Carrasco one they executed with the Cleveland Indians over the winter. Adding a pitcher and a bat where one is making a lot of money and comes with risk while the other is young and in his prime makes too much sense not to explore.
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One thing I know for sure: if the Mets bolster the roster with Berrios and Donaldson, the other teams in the NL East better bleach their white flags. The division will fall to the Mets.