4 trade deadline mistakes Billy Eppler must avoid at all costs

New York Mets Introduce Justin Verlander
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2) NY Mets trade deadline mistake to avoid: Trade your best prospects only for the missing piece

Prospects are built up in the minor leagues to save a franchise or become trade bait to acquire someone else for the job. Under Eppler, the Mets have been extremely careful about not giving away too many of their better assets. It’s almost as if Steve Cohen put this directive in place after seeing the results of the Baez trade.

The Mets definitely should shop some of those non-MLB ready youngsters. In the right deal, even Mark Vientos or Ronny Mauricio could be dangled. The mistake to avoid here is to not send them packing for anything less than the missing piece.

What is the missing piece for the Mets? At times this year it has felt like a starting pitcher. Kodai Senga’s flashes of brilliance might be enough for the Mets to feel convinced he can be a number three for them in the postseason. It still wouldn’t hurt to upgrade the rotation with a third ace-level player. It’ll depend on health and how guys like Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana are doing.

A missing piece could always be the offensive punch this year’s Mets team seems to be missing. Exactly where they’d play the guy is up for debate. Someone would have to hit the bench for one of those star-level players that would qualify as a missing piece.

Absolutely off the table is the idea of trading one of the better prospects for a relief pitcher. It doesn’t matter if it’s Alexis Diaz who is young, talented, and has years of control. Relievers aren’t missing pieces to your championship puzzle. Avoiding an overpayment here is a trade deadline mistake to avoid at all costs.