Second Mets trade of the winter with the Red Sox is a good faith move by David Stearns

A small move showing the importance of relationship building.
Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Tyler Heineman to the Boston Red Sox won’t go down as one of those New York Mets trades to live in any sort of infamy. The journeyman catcher was picked up off waivers this offseason and DFA’d once the club needed some room for Adam Ottavino. While in DFA limb, the Mets traded him to the Red Sox for cash considerations.

This is the second trade between the two clubs this offseason. Back in December, the Mets swapped Rule 5 Draft pick Justin Slaten for minor leaguer Ryan Ammons. A savvy move by both clubs, David Stearns is proving to be an effective trade partner with Red Sox executive Craig Breslow.

Two somewhat innocuous trades we’ll forget all about or the beginning of a budding partnership?

David Stearns is making friends early in his Mets tenure

Former foes from Stearns’ time with the Milwaukee Brewers and Breslow’s with the Chicago Cubs, the two weren’t accustomed to making trades in the past due to the division rivalry. Now positioned in different leagues, the pair have already struck a pair of small deals.

Slaten can go to the Red Sox and not have to stay on the 26-man roster for the full year as he would have with the Mets. New York picks up a minor leaguer in the process whom they can develop. 

The Heineman trade is far smaller move than his previous deal with Boston but a repeat of what Stearns recently did with Cooper Hummel. Stearns sent him to the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations, too. Any cash won’t be all that much. It allows the Red Sox and Giants add a player to their rosters instead of going to battle on the waiver wire where the Mets previously won. Both Heineman and Hummel are optional as well. They could remain as depth pieces.

When Steve Cohen first took over as the majority owner of the Mets, the red carpet wasn’t rolled out for him. Would teams actually make trades with the organization run by the richest owner in the sport? Tactfully, Cohen avoided flexing his financial might to its full extent in the first two years. It wasn’t until the 2023 season when he went above and beyond normal spending. The Mets remain in a budgetary area above basically everyone else not named the Los Angeles Dodgers. But they haven’t broken any unwritten rules or made the kinds of moves to get others upset.

The Mets are playing the long game in every way possible. These small trades may seem meaningless on the service. Stearns is basically holding the door open at a restaurant in these cases. Those teams will remember it. Surely, they’d remember it even more if Stearns wasn’t so kind in sharing.