Re-grading all 6 Mets trade deadline deals from 2023

How are these deals looking months later?
Jul 26, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitchers Justin Verlander (35) and Max
Jul 26, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitchers Justin Verlander (35) and Max / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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A tale of two trade deadlines during Billy Eppler’s tenure with the New York Mets helped define the way we think about him. He missed in a big way in 2022 when the team needed to buy. He made up for it the following year in one of the biggest sell-offs in team history.

The Mets jumped out of the plane with a parachute last summer when they decided to put everything on hold and reset the clock. Multiple players were moved. The Mets, wisely, agreed to pay the remainder of salaries—in some cases massive ones—to get the most from these transactions.

Heading into the 2024 season, it’s worth a re-grade of each of those six deals they made at the deadline.

1) The Mets trade Justin Verlander to the Astros for Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford

This might not have been the best deal the Mets made at the trade deadline, but it certainly feels like the one with the largest potential for a payoff. Justin Verlander was sent back to the Houston Astros in exchange for Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford. If you aren’t aware of them, how much is the mortgage on the rock you’ve been living under?

The Mets picked up a large part of the tab on Verlander for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. In 2025, he’ll receive a player option if he’s able to pitch 140 innings this coming season. He’s already beginning the year on the IL. This could be the difference between the Mets paying the Astros another $17.5 million or not.

We do need to look at the money involved in this trade because it has affected what the Mets are doing now. The hit on the payroll has created some limitations on what the team is currently doing. For this, we can’t give it a perfect score. However, it deserves a ton of praise. Verlander didn’t win anything with the Astros in year one with the team and the Mets have two big-time prospects all for the low-low cost of at least another $25 million in 2024.

Ask most fans, they’d do this deal every time.

Grade: A-