As buyers at the trade deadline, the New York Mets are eager to get going and buy and go all in for a World Series run this season. However, to solidify themselves as World Series favorites, the Mets are not done, yet.
The Mets have already made multiple trades to bolster their roster, picking up Daniel Vogelbach from the Pirates and Tyler Naquin from the Reds. Now there are three things left for the Mets to do to take their roster and catapult it past the Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros for supremacy in baseball discussions.
The Mets should acquire catcher Willson Contreras from the Chicago Cubs (or designated hitter J.D. Martinez from the Boston Red Sox).
As good as the Mets offense has been, it can get even better. Entering play on Saturday, they ranked 12th of the 30 teams in the majors in OPS and 19th in home runs. Willson Contreras can make the lineup better because of his excellent hard hit rate and give the Mets desperately needed offensive production from the catcher position, which has been barren between James McCann, Tomas Nido, and Patrick Mazeika.
Contreras would instantly upgrade that position, and offer a constant protection for Pete Alonso as a middle-of-the-order impact bat. Contreras also sports an OPS over 1.000 against lefties.
While Contreras’ pitch framing is okay, he does have an excellent pop time to second base, ranking ninth of 75 catchers with at least 5 attempts with an average time of 1.92 seconds. Compared with what the Mets have now, Nido’s average is 1.98 seconds, while McCann’s is 2.05.
Now, the Mets are expecting James McCann to return from the injured list by Thursday, and that would already knock Mazeika down to the minors, a trade package featuring McCann or Nido to be dealt back to Chicago is possible, if not likely should a trade go through, so Contreras can get as many at-bats as possible, including as a DH.
If the asking price for Contreras is too high as reports suggest, the Mets can always pivot to the Red Sox for J.D. Martinez, who likewise would make an impact on the Mets lineup as an automatic upgrade over J.D. Davis, as he is batting .362 against lefties this season.