Finding realistic trade candidates isn’t always the easiest part of the MLB offseason. There are some guys making a lot of money on cheap teams that make a ton of sense. Then there are those whose teams refuse to pay them. It’s not a problem the New York Mets will probably have as long as Steve Cohen owns the club.
Not every fanbase is fortunate. Up in Boston, the Red Sox have yet to sign an extension with star third baseman Rafael Devers. He is a free agent after the 2023 season. It’s beginning to look like Mookie Betts all over again.
The Mets might not seem like the likeliest of landing spots for Devers. Yet for some reason, they made the cut in the destinations CBS Sports put together.
Is Rafael Devers a realistic Mets trade candidate?
Devers would immediately improve the Mets. It wouldn’t matter what happens to Eduardo Escobar. He can move to the bench and be a decent bat to pair in the DH role with Daniel Vogelbach. Who really cares at that point? The Mets now have one of the best, young third basemen in the entire league.
Acquiring Devers would likely mean Brett Baty has ended up in Boston. It doesn’t make much sense to keep him especially when the whole intention of trading for Devers should be to extend him. Devers turned 26 just last month. The best may still be on the way.
This does harken back to a debate many fans had in the first offseason with Cohen in the captain’s seat. When the Mets traded for Francisco Lindor, some questioned the need. Amed Rosario was an okay option at shortstop. Andres Gimenez looked like a capable replacement if the Mets did think they could do better.
The Mets do have third base options different from Devers. With Baty, fans are growing attached because he has been nothing but a member of the Mets organization. It’s a typical reaction. We all love the homegrown guy.
Upgrading to Devers would help the Mets skip over any Baty growing pains. The 2023 campaign should include a few. Devers, now almost 3,000 plate appearances into his MLB career, wouldn’t have any.
Devers is more of a dream addition for the Mets than a very realistic one. He’s going to be an extremely expensive infielder to keep after next year. Pete Alonso has yet to get his big deal. How much can we realistically expect the Mets to spend on their infield?
Adding Devers in a major trade would be huge for the Mets. Fans would rejoice. They’d also pay close attention to how Baty and the other prospects perform in Boston.
As for waiting for Devers to hit free agency, don’t count on it. Even if he is moved from the Red Sox, he’s a candidate to get a fresh deal the first day he steps into the new locker room.