A Mets trade with the Cardinals both teams should be itching to make

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals
Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Even with the bad season that the New York Mets are having, their position in the standings allows them to still be realistic about their chance of qualifying for the postseason. The team can make some changes that allow them to be competitive this year while sacrificing little or nothing in the future.

An ideal trade partner would be the St. Louis Cardinals, who have seen their season fall apart, ranking with the third-worst record in the National League. The Cardinals have several players of interest, but one can help the Mets in the short run without sacrificing their top prospects.

The Mets should trade their #29 prospect Nate Lavender and their AA catcher Hayden Senger for Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks

The Mets' bullpen hasn't been efficient this year. One of the biggest causes is the few reliable options in a bullpen that lacks the presence of its trusted figure this year.

Jordan Hicks has been a pitcher renowned for his speed on his fastball and sinker pitches. The current Cardinals reliever has been used as a starter in his career, but this experiment hasn't worked.

With the Cardinals virtually out of contention, Hicks becomes a trading chip as he is in the final year of his contract. Even though the young St. Louis pitcher hasn't been very efficient, his Statcast page shows him as a top pitcher in almost every advanced metric percentile ranking except his BB%, which has been a problem in his career.

One aspect of Hick is that he is at the highest K% of his career and has limited the opposition's hard-hit contact by posting an xSLG of just .276. He has been able to achieve this, thanks to developing a new pitch, the sweeper, which he is using 18% of the time and has been inducing a batting average below .200 and a Whiff% above 50%.

In the case of the Cardinals, the team has needed pitching this year. The figure of Nate Lavender, an MLB-ready talent left-handed pitcher who has been rising in the Mets' prospects ranking, gives them a young, controllable pitcher with upside, thanks to his change-up that scouts classify as above the league average. Additionally, they would receive Hayden Senger, a catcher from the AA circuit of the Mets with good discipline at the plate and good instincts for blocking and framing pitches.

Trade between these two teams would give them the pieces that could complement their rosters. The Cards would receive a good return for a rental, and the Mets would receive a needed figure in a battered bullpen.