A Mets-Guardians trade that reloads the New York farm system

The Mets would get much-needed depth at the lower levels of their farm system.
J.D. Martinez is hitting .342 against lefties and would give Cleveland a needed righty power bat to protect Jose Ramirez.
J.D. Martinez is hitting .342 against lefties and would give Cleveland a needed righty power bat to protect Jose Ramirez. / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

The New York Mets might have played themselves into being sellers at the trade deadline, and they have a bunch of expendable trade chips they can use to bolster their improving farm system even further ahead of the July 30 trade deadline.

The Mets begin this week three games out of a Wild Card spot, but with seven teams ahead of them, it could serve the Mets best to deal some of their veterans like they did last year. But let's be realistic here. Even if this team makes the playoffs, are they built to win in October? Probably not, given their pitching issues.

One team that could use the services of a current Met is the Cleveland Guardians, who are leading the American League Central and are competing with the upstart Kansas City Royals in the division. The Guardians are the youngest team in the major leagues. They can use a veteran with a track record of success in the postseason to offer more wisdom for their young hitters.

The last time the two franchises made a trade was the one that sent Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the Mets in January 2021. This time, Cleveland gains the more significant piece, in J.D. Martinez.

JD Martinez to CLE trade

This Mets trade would be a win-win for both teams, as each addresses its own issues.

The Guardians have been surprisingly strong against left-handed pitching all year, with an OPS of .749. ranking seventh in baseball. Much of that has to do with David Fry, who has a 1.307 OPS against lefties in 76 plate appearances. However, teams are beginning to adjust recently to Cleveland's success by using left-handed relievers against them as they can and get favorable matchups. Cleveland currently has seven left-handed hitters, two switch hitters, and four right-handed hitters on its roster, so bringing in Martinez would balance it out.

Martinez is a rental piece and has a $12 million contract this year, so the Mets would certainly pay down at least a significant portion of his remaining salary to get better prospects using Steve Cohen's deep wallets.

Now who do the Mets get back in return in this mock? They'd gettwo of Cleveland's Top 30 prospects on MLB Pipeline's list, in infielder Jose Devers (ranked 19th in Cleveland's system) and Parker Messick (ranked 21st). Both of whom are in High-A. Most of the Mets current top prospects are in Double-A and Triple-A, so this trade replenishes the lower levels of the Mets farm with talent.

Jose Devers does not have spectacular minor league batting stats, as he has a pedestrian .676 OPS in High-A, but everything else makes up for it and why he is an intriguing prospect. He stole 34 bases last year in Class-A and scouts say he has shown good instincts on the bases. Defensively, his arm strength and defense at shortstop are above average and can make for a valuable asset to a team. When he isn't playing shortstop, he is probably at third base, thanks to his strong arm. For Mets fans reading this, think another Luis Guillorme.

Parker Messick impressed at Florida State two years ago as the ACC Pitcher of the Year, thanks to a devastating changeup and an 8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Those things have continued in the Guardians organization. In 11 starts this season, he is 4-4 with a 3.30 ERA with 69 strikeouts and 18 walks in 57.1 innings. If the Mets add him, it would bolster the pitching prospect pool, and he could make a meteoric rise under the Mets new pitching lab.