Mock Mets trade dumps a bad contract onto the Braves payroll

Who says no to this mock trade?
New York Mets v Washington Nationals
New York Mets v Washington Nationals / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

Trade deadline deals between the New York Mets and division rivals aren’t unusual. Just last year the Mets sent David Robertson to the Miami Marlins. The Philadelphia Phillies have laughably added Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Bautista, and Jason Vargas in recent years. Who can forget the Mets buying Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe away from the Atlanta Braves in 2015? 

FanSided’s Zach Pressnell had another idea for an interdivisional trade between the Mets and Braves. This one’s mission is for the Braves to replace Ronald Acuna Jr. The proposed solution: Starling Marte.

The return for Marte would be fallen Braves prospect Darius Vines. Before even knowing a thing about him, you might be putting directions into your GPS to the nearest airport. If all it did was clear Marte’s salary off the books, this is probably a deal worth doing.

Any offer to take Starling Marte’s contract off the books is probably a good one for the Mets

Vines is a 26-year-old righty struggling in Triple-A this season. Ranked 14th in the Braves farm system by MLB Pipeline, he’s not such a bad “get” for a guy whose salary is becoming burdensome even if he isn’t necessarily having such a bad year. Move him from a starter to a reliever and see if that sparks something.

Marte has played better this season, slashing .276/.326/.414 through 228 plate appearances. His OPS is more than 100 points higher than it was last year thanks in large part to actually showing some signs of being able to hit for power. Although his health remains questionable, including a right knee issue which had him scratched on Wednesday, Marte hasn’t been nearly as limited as he was last season. This might just be a case of an older player needing some extra time off to recover.

Owed the remainder of his $20.75 million contract this year and the same next season, there are some spectacular ways the Mets could use this money. On an aging outfielder who used to rely on his speed isn’t what David Stearns would prefer. 

The hotter question is whether you hand him off to the Braves to lend them a helping hand. Adam Duvall has been a mess in right field since becoming the everyday option. They'd take just about anyone, but Marte might be too expensive. His salary is what makes him tough to move.

Considering their payroll and the fact that Marte would become the third-highest paid player on the team, we can assume he’d be of little interest to the Braves. This isn’t a team that has willfully taken on bad contracts via trade. As quickly as it would be over with, Marte would just get in the way of the Braves making wiser decisions for the 2025 campaign and maybe even exploring some other choices for 2024.

From a Mets perspective, it sounds far too good to be true. Whether you think the team can compete this year or not, moving Marte off the roster feels to beneficial for next year.