The Mets-Pirates trade we want to see repeated but in reverse

It would be the ultimate learning from a past mistake if the Mets could replicate a trade from the past but in reverse.
New York Mets v Washington Nationals
New York Mets v Washington Nationals / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

No one could be stupid enough to repeat the same mistake. Then again, look at our upcoming presidential election. Frankly, no matter which side your beliefs fall on, you probably feel like voting for either candidate is like when the New York Mets re-signed Oliver Perez after already seeing signs of how bad he can be in the past.

Repeatedly making the same mistake is something that’ll drive sports fans crazy. Learning from those mistakes and getting it right a second time around is what will have them buying hats, season tickets, and getting accused of being burner accounts for front office personnel.

The 2022 trade deadline deal between the Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates is an example of what the Mets should aim to do this summer but in reverse. Rather than swap a young relief pitcher like Colin Holderman for a lumbering veteran like Daniel Vogelbach, they should look to do the exact opposite. Who wants DJ Stewart?

The Mets should look to trade DJ Stewart for a relief pitcher with some upside

Would another general manager be so foolish as to make a trade like this? We’re coming up on the two-year anniversary. Has baseball changed its value of young pitchers and dismissed left-handed hitters who can’t hit other lefties so much?

The Vogelbach for Holderman swap has benefitted the Pirates far more. Not a notable prospect at the time for the Mets, Holderman was still someone they could’ve used in the bullpen. He was pitching to a 2.04 ERA at the time of the deal. This season, despite coughing up a run to the Mets on Sunday, he has maintained a stellar 1.93 ERA after dropping it down from the 3.86 he finished 2023 with.

Stewart is in the midst of a major slump and GMs won’t be knocking over mothers pushing strollers to get him. Still, there must be some non-prospect pitching prospect out there performing well the Mets could acquire for him, right?

The Cincinnati Reds have gotten a .578 OPS out of their DHs this season. Right fielders haven’t been much better at .624. Stewart, at .639, would be perceived as an upgrade statistically.

The Reds trail the Mets in the NL Wild Card standings but not by much. Their bullpen is mostly older pitchers in their 30s. Many of them have minor league options left, too. They just sent lefty Alex Young to the San Francisco Giants for Austin Slater. Slater is having an equally as weak season as Stewart with a worse OPS at .575.

Young is probably the type of player the Mets could get for Stewart. He pitched to a 3.86 ERA last season in 53.2 innings for the Reds. Limited to only 2 innings this season as he spent much of this year in Triple-A, we can aim a little higher or maybe a little younger. Find a team's Dedniel Nunez who has yet to fully bloom.