Bleacher Report put together their list of the player from each team most likely to get traded this offseason. For the New York Mets, they wrap up by stating Pete Alonso isn't the guy because the assumption now is for the team to contend. Fair enough. You put a smile on a lot of faces.
Previous lists have named Jose Quintana as the Mets player most likely to get traded. Again, he's not getting traded with the caveat that the Mets are trying to win now.
This brings us to Bleacher Report's choice of Ronny Mauricio. Using the process of elimination, their case for making Mauricio the most tradable makes sense but also raises a big question.
If the Mets trade Ronny Mauricio, what's the third base plan?
The Mets seem destined to do one of two things at third base. Either they get a proven veteran or let Mauricio duke it out with Brett Baty for playing time. Either one is okay. What they can't do is fully commit to Baty.
Mauricio has grown on a lot of Mets fans as more than a minor leaguer we're told can be good. We're seeing the results. The added power to his bat over the last two seasons has made him less "trade him because he plays shortstop" and more "where else can he play instead?"
Mauricio brings different gifts than the other prospects we've seen in the big leagues. He might not be a great defensive player, however, he has at least appeared much more flexible when it comes to taking on a new position. Moving from shortstop to another position happens to lots of players in their career; not just the coach's son when his dad can't get the time off to coach the little league team any longer.
Many of us already have Mauricio in mind to challenge Baty for innings at third base. The Mets, who've been timid with their rookies in almost every way, weren't so shy about giving Mauricio a chance at third base in September. It was refreshing. As imperfect as a platoon at the position next year may be, the alternatives are far tougher to imagine unless they just stick with Baty fully.
Bleacher Report didn't have to pick someone from the major league roster as several teams had prospects chosen. Did they forget about Kevin Parada or do they believe Mauricio is more likely to get dealt? The obvious blockage for Parada due to the presence of Francisco Alvarez should have him as a strong contender on any similar list.
Another option from the major league roster could actually be Drew Smith. His struggles in 2023 could make him a casualty. Surely, there’s a team out there willing to take a chance on him with one year left on his contract.
Thoughts of trading Mauricio have lingered from the moment Francisco Lindor entered the picture. He is now a bit closer to erasing them and yet he remains the subject of trade speculation including this list rich with players we can only hope the Mets consider adding to their roster.