As the end of July approaches, teams will start to think about if they will be buyers or sellers in the trade market for 2021. It is clear that the New York Mets will be buyers this season as they sit in first place and look to continue leading the division.
The Mets have some needs they could look to address with high leverage reliever, back-end starter, and third base probably the most important needs.
Looking at the teams who could be sellers, there are certain teams, like the Chicago Cubs, who could be natural trade partners with the Mets since they have players that fit all three of those needs.
When looking at what players to target a cost-benefit analysis has to be done on each player so you are not overpaying for someone and making a bad deal.
One of those factors is team control. A player with team control obviously costs more than a rental assuming the team is even willing to part with the player now and not want to wait until the offseason.
There is a player that could be on the market that does not fill one of the top three needs and probably creates a log jam for 2021 but he is under team control until 2026 and fills the Mets potential outfield need with so much uncertainty surrounding the future of the Mets outfield.
That player is first-time all-star Bryan Reynolds.
Most teams will call the Pittsburgh Pirates about Adam Frazier or Richard Rodriguez, but it may be worth it for the Mets to call the Pirates about Bryan Reynolds and see if he is available.
Reynolds is 26 years old and is such an underrated player that most people don’t know who he is. Reynolds has a career slash line of .287/.363/.482/.844 with an 8.0 WAR and that includes an abysmal 2020 season where he had below a .200 batting average in 55 games. He has average power, but he is just a pure hitter akin to Jeff McNeil.
Reynolds primarily plays centerfield and in 547.1 innings at the position, he has a .988 fielding percentage with 4 outs above average which top ten in baseball.
So why should the Mets pay a premium to acquire Reynolds when he does not fill one of the top needs?
The answer is forward-thinking. If the Mets can get Bryan Reynolds at the deadline, yes it would be a challenge for Luis Rojas to fit Dom Smith, Kevin Pillar, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Bryan Reynolds into three spots, but he may be cheaper now than in the offseason and the Mets will desperately need outfielders next year.
After the 2021 season, there will presumably be a designated hitter implemented into the National League, which would allow Dominic Smith to primarily play first base and allow Nimmo to move to left. In addition, Conforto will be a free agent and although I would be surprised if he went elsewhere, it still leaves a question mark in the right field.
That would leave the Mets outfield with two unknowns, centerfield, and right field. Pillar could presumably fill one of those spots even though he is not really an everyday type of player anymore and maybe someone like Johneswy Fargas or Khalil Lee could fill the other spot but that presents risk.
The Mets need to decrease their risk exposure for the present as well as the future if they want to build a perennial contender and acquiring Bryan Reynolds is a great way to do it. He would slide right into centerfield, allowing Nimmo to slide over to left, and provide great defense and above-average offense.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
There is no guarantee the Pirates would even entertain trading Reynolds, but if they are and the price is right then the Mets could get an extremely underrated player that could pay dividends for the next several years.