Prior to the lockout, the New York Mets were the big winners of the offseason. They signed Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar to help sure up a lineup that finished towards the bottom in runs per game last season all in one day. They then went out and signed Max Scherzer in what might end up being the biggest and most important signing in franchise history.
While the Mets are improved for sure, are they really where they want to be? After spending a ton of money in free agency, it's clear the Mets are all in on this season. When the lockout ends, I expect the Mets to be active trying to improve the roster.
There are a couple of solid bats available in the free agent market like Kris Bryant and Michael Conforto. There're also some arms left who could help sure up the rotation like Clayton Kershaw and Carlos Rodon.
With that being said, the Mets can make the most damage in the trade market. Plenty of big names figure to be available for the taking, and the Mets should consider targeting some of them.
Here are 10 of the best trade targets the Mets should consider when the lockout ends.
10. Mets trade target Sean Manaea
The Oakland Athletics appear to be headed towards a rebuild which means pretty much anybody making a salary above the league minimum figures to be available in a trade. The Athletics are a good team who went 86-76 last season, just missing out on the postseason.
This means they have plenty of good players who the Mets should be interested in. One of these players is starting pitcher Sean Manaea.
Sean Manaea is an amazing candidate to round out the Mets rotation. As of now, the Mets have four starters pencilled into their rotation in Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker. The fifth starter job appears to be up for grabs with David Peterson and Tylor Megill the leading in-house candidates.
Both Peterson and Megill are fine, but the Mets could use an upgrade and could especially use starting pitching depth. The injuries last season got so bad to the point where the Mets had to rely on guys like Jared Eickhoff and Robert Stock to start games for at the time the first place Mets. Even Tylor Megill who did impress had no business pitching in the major leagues after virtually no experience pitching in the upper minor league levels.
With all of the injury concerns the Mets have in the rotation, Manaea seems like an optimal candidate for the Mets to look into acquiring.
The 30-year old left hander is coming off of a season which saw him go 11-10 with a 3.91 ERA. On the surface that's not super exciting, but his 32 starts and 179.1 innings pitched are what gets me really excited. That along with his 9.7 K/9 and 3.66 FIP contribute to the excitement. Manaea is a guy the Mets can realistically rely upon to eat innings and keep the Mets in games as the fifth starter.
The Mets won't be asking Manaea to go out there pitching seven shutout innings with 15 strikeouts like Jacob deGrom. His role will be to go six strong allow three runs or less and keep the Mets in games. With their improved lineup they should be able to win most of his starts.
Manaea is projected to make $10.2 million dollars this season according to Spotrac. This is his final season of team control. For a rebuilding team like the Athletics looking to cut costs, this is the optimal time for them to trade him. He still has value with a full year on his deal and they will likely lose him for nothing if they hold onto him for the entire season as he doesn't fit into their rebuilding plans.
Manaea is not the biggest name available, but he's a productive starter who won't cost a lot for the Mets to acquire. He should be a top 10 target for them after the lockout ends.