Any issues the New York Mets may have with their roster this year can be solved at the trade deadline. The front office has shown an aggressiveness to get things done. They’ve wisely identified players who are good for the club on and off the field. There’s a lot of confidence in Sandy Alderson and Billy Eppler.
The offseason is one thing. Every team could potentially make a trade with you. There are plenty of free agent alternatives as well. In the summer, there are buyers, sellers, and the do-nothings. The number of players available are far fewer. Asking prices can, for some, get a little too high.
This summer, as the Mets look to improve their roster, these three players should be avoided.
1) NY Mets trade candidate to avoid: Willson Contreras
I get the desire to make a trade for someone like Willson Contreras. It has nothing to do with the Mets selling one of their top outfield prospects to the Chicago Cubs last year that has me hesitant to take on Contreras this year. The argument is pretty simple. Contreras is a catcher and the Mets have plenty of those.
Contreras would be a massive upgrade over James McCann, Tomas Nido, and Patrick Mazeika at their absolute best. But because he is a catcher, there is another aspect of the game to think about.
Contreras is unfamiliar with the Mets starting pitchers and relievers. Working together on the fly in the middle of a pennant race can have disastrous consequences. It’s an unnecessary risk to take when the Mets could simply just make the DH position better. At that spot in the order, there are no limitations.
The Mets could always add Contreras and carry three catchers with him working the majority of the time as a DH. It feels like kind of a waste, though. His bat, as good as it is, falls well below the power potential the Mets should be seeking.
With time to work with the pitchers in advance of games counting, sure. It’s a nice move to make. When McCann returns, the team would either need to carry three catchers or DFA Tomas Nido. Neither seems palatable. Go after someone else.