The New York Mets sold more than expected at this year’s trade deadline. It’s still sinking in. And with Max Scherzer spilling the beans on next year’s plans to lower expectations, the whole direction this offseason could be much different than what we envisioned.
Suddenly, with the Mets aiming to compete in 2025 or 2026 rather than fully reload for next year, these five players need to be on the trade block even more so than they may have already been.
Not included: Pete Alonso. Stop it already. Offer him a contract extension first. Wait until the trade deadline if he's not putting ink to paper and then flip him if you're out of it.
1) NY Mets trade block needs to have Jose Quintana on it
The Mets aren’t opposed to trading a pitcher early on in his tenure. We got how many starts out of Justin Verlander before the plug was pulled? We could get even fewer from Jose Quintana whose first half of the year was wiped out due to a spring injury. He has pitched well for the Mets since debuting from the IL and the reasons to keep him around are dwindling.
It’s conceivable for the Mets to go into next season with Quintana in the rotation. The troubling aspect of this is that he looks much better as a number four or five starter than a top three guy. If the Mets are indeed prepared to lower the bar for the 2024 season, trading Quintana in the offseason should be on the table.
Almost as reasonable is to keep Quintana and wait to flip him at the trade deadline. This comes with its own risks. There are fewer suitors and in a free agency pool without a whole lot of top-tier guys at any position, contenders might be willing to pay the price for a full year of Quintana rather than just rent him for a few weeks.
The Mets run the risk of another Quintana injury disintegrating his trade value. What’s to say he even pitches well next year either? While the commodity is hot, the Mets should move Quintana.
Prediction: The Mets keep Quintana but unload him at the trade deadline when they meet their goal of not being competitive. He’s not that great for the Mets in 2024 and the return is only promising because Steve Cohen eats the remainder of the contract.