5 Mets trade deadline candidates we should already keep our eyes on

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is more than six months away, but that doesn’t mean the New York Mets and their fans should wait until the immediate lead-up to look at potential trade deadline targets.

The Mets certainly have some room for improvement on the roster looking ahead to the stretch run as well as beyond 2023. When roster needs and non-contending teams accounted for, the Mets have five legitimate trade candidates to watch through the first four months of the regular season.

1) New York Mets trade deadline candidate, pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani

The Los Angeles Angels will not change ownership hands after Arte Moreno decided to flip-flop on his position on the ownership sale. This is where hope goes to die if you’re a fan of the Angels, and where intense scrutiny regarding the status of Shohei Ohtani goes to rise.

The Mets, along with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, headline a host of pursuers for Ohtani’s one-of-a-kind collection of talents.

There is no chance that Ohtani will sign a long-term contract with the Angels because of the lack of winning and organizational functionality associated with Moreno, and Steve Cohen has the money and the desire to bring Ohtani to New York for the long-haul.

But what about as a trade deadline candidate? If the Mets feel they can be the team to beat with Ohtani in August and September, and there would be valid arguments in that favor, of course the Mets can and should trade for him. The Angels, even with Ohtani and Mike Trout, are probably the third or fourth best team in the division, and Halos’ GM Perry Minasian will realize that making their farm system stronger is the way to go and letting Ohtani walk in free agency would be embarrassing for the franchise.

With the Mets likely to have multiple holes in their starting rotation for 2025 and beyond, Billy Eppler first signed Ohtani as an international free agent and now serving as Mets’ GM, and the rich Asian-American culture in downtown Flushing, Ohtani makes too much sense as a trade deadline candidate.