Reunions haven’t always worked out so well for the New York Mets. Jay Bruce. Jose Reyes. Jeurys Familia. On a smaller scale but worth noting because he was a prospect of theirs at one point, Jason Bay. Sometimes you need to be happy with what you got out of a player during his tenure and move on.
One Mets player has done so well this year that he is actually a decent match for what the club will need in 2024. Tommy Pham, an unexpected fan favorite due less to his personality and more because of his play on the field, is right up there alongside David Robertson as the club’s best trade chip on an expiring contract.
The Mets need to capitalize on Pham’s success and find a trade destination for him. Get a prospect or two in return. When the offseason hits, see if there’s any interest in coming back.
An open invite for Tommy Pham to return to the Mets next year
A one-year deal worth $6 million is what it took for Pham to sign with the Mets. The way his season is going should net him at least a two-year contract or another one-year deal for more money. We can fuss over the numbers at a later point. What’s clear is the Mets have an opening for Pham on the roster.
Mark Canha, another trade candidate but even more so a guy the team should buyout this year, hasn’t met expectations in 2023. The club’s starting left fielder last year and for much of this season will be gone one way or another. This leaves the team with some unanswered questions in left field where Pham has essentially already taken over.
Left field options for the Mets next season aren’t abundant. Aside from moving a player currently on the roster to the position, there isn’t a whole lot they can do. Free agency has a lot of the same players who were in the pool this past winter including Adam Duvall, and Jurickson Profar. The Mets should be open to right fielders as well with Starling Marte leapfrogging Brandon Nimmo in center field to find a spot in left field where his weakening defense might be less noticeable.
Pham has put up starting outfielder numbers yet the Mets shouldn’t get too complacent in believing he’ll be anything like this going forward. On a one or two-year contract, they’ll need to be cautious. He is no sure thing.
One plan could have Pham and Jeff McNeil sharing left field duties with Ronny Mauricio getting frequent starts at second base. Having a cheaper player like Mauricio on the roster can allow the Mets to give Pham a little bump in salary but also explore some additional roster upgrades as well.
Pham has turned out to be a perfect fit for the Mets roster this season. Guys like that aren’t always easy to find. He battled his way into receiving more playing time. Fans will universally give him the open invite to come back. How can we not? He has been more than anyone expected.