3 trade candidates the Mets could realistically pursue from this list of ‘potential surprises’

From a list of potential surprise trade candidates, these are the ones the Mets could realistically pursue.
Toronto Blue Jays v Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Bleacher Report shared a list of potential surprise MLB trade candidates and presented plenty of juicy names. Coming from rosters of teams who’ve either underachieved or performed as bad as the pessimists expected, there is plenty for the New York Mets to seek out at the trade deadline if they remain competitive.

Some of the names on the list are way out of reach for the Mets. Isaac Paredes is going to cost too much in terms of prospects. Then there’s a guy like Sonny Gray whose contract doesn’t exactly fit into the scheme of what they’re doing. Finally, there’s Alex Bregman who, at this point, would be a downgrade from Brett Baty.

What about the others on the list? Three of them standout as reasonable options for the Mets to pursue this summer if they do indeed become available.

1) Yusei Kikuchi is a short term starter the Mets can turn to

An unflattering couple of seasons with the Seattle Mariners seem to have been placed in the past for Yusei Kikuchi. He found his way to the Toronto Blue Jays last year and became an exceptional pitcher. A 3.86 ERA didn’t tell the full tale of how much he improved. His walks fell to 2.6 per 9 and his strikeout rate was a very solid 9.8 per 9, too.

Kikuchi is making $10 million this year and will become a free agent at the end of the season. Fitting in with the idea of going short term with players, he’d be someone the Mets would absolutely have interest in.

The Blue Jays are far from dead but in a competitive American League East, they might be the weakest link this season. If so, Kikuchi is one of the most obvious trade candidates on the roster with an expiring contract and the high demand for pitchers every summer.

How much pitching help the Mets will need to add is dependent on the health and quality of performances they get from their rotation. There will, undoubtedly, be room for improvement. Kikuchi could be a Jose Quintana upgrade if he fails to deliver more quality starts. They’ve already eliminated Adrian Houser from the rotation—possibly for good. Don’t expect them to force anyone else onto the mound every fifth or sixth day if they struggle, too.

Kikuchi has turned heads this season. Now 8 starts deep into his season, he is 2-3 with a 2.64 ERA. His 46 strikeouts in 47.2 innings is good but far more impressive are the 1.7 walks per 9. The Mets could use fewer bases on balls.