The New York Mets may only have one major trade they can make this offseason. The farm system isn’t super deep. Their greatest weapon, Steve Cohen’s wallet, should have them looking for upgrades in free agency rather than dealing with other teams.
For General Manager Billy Eppler, this means proceeding with some caution. He won’t want to trade away a single player to reduce a future trade package for a much bigger target—Shohei Ohtani obviously being the biggest name out there.
Even if the Mets don’t get involved in the Ohtani sweepstakes, there are players for the Mets to shop. It’s these three that stand out as the best assets Eppler has that don’t seem to have an exact role with the ball club going forward.
1) NY Mets need to trade Mark Vientos or find a role for him
Mark Vientos trade talk has been ongoing ever since Brett Baty joined the organization. Baty has since passed Vientos as the clear favorite to play third base. For Vientos, a poor defender, the DH spot is the likeliest place for him to get regular at-bats with this franchise.
Vientos could certainly find a spot in someone’s left field or even as a first baseman. On the Mets, with Pete Alonso locked in at first base, the options get limited far faster.
Vientos has slid down many top Mets prospect lists in the last year despite an impressive performance in Triple-A. He hits with good power and should, at the very least, become a decent righty capable of mashing lefties.
Destinations for Vientos should be plentiful enough. He’d be a centerpiece in any major trade we can dream about. If the Mets don’t deal him, they’ll need to find a role for him on the roster. The right-handed DH partner with Daniel Vogelbach is one way to proceed.