4 best designated hitter options for the Mets to add at the trade deadline

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks / Norm Hall/GettyImages
1 of 4

New York Mets trade rumors are emerging often, now that the baseball season has hit the halfway mark in the 2022 season. The Mets currently sit in first place in the division; however, the Atlanta Braves, thanks to an excellent June that saw the team go 21-6, are right on their heels.

It stands to reason, then, that the Mets cannot afford to take their foot off the gas pedal. Therefore, as the Trade Deadline gets closer, the Mets need to assess how they could improve their team.

One position where they could seek an upgrade is designated hitter. Their current primary designated hitters are J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith. Although both have had their moments, neither of them has managed to be consistent at the position. Smith is batting .216 with zero home runs and an OPS+ of 77, well below the league average. Davis has fared better, hitting .248 with 3 home runs and 19 RBI with an OPS+ of 103 through July 10th.

NY Mets trade rumors: DH trade candidate C.J. Cron

The good news for the Mets is that there are several designated hitter options available to them if they choose to seek an upgrade at the position. This article ranks the top four potential Trade Deadline targets for the Mets and explains why each player makes sense (or doesn’t make sense).

The first candidate that could be a good fit for the Mets is Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron. The burly first baseman has bounced around in his career, playing for the Los Angeles Angels, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins, and Detroit Tigers in addition to the Rockies.

Cron would be best deployed against left-handed hitters, where he has always found success against. His career average is approximately 22 points higher against left-handed pitchers than righties, and his OPS against southpaws is hovering around .850.

Cron has also performed well at Citi Field during his career. Because the Mets will play about half of their games at Citi Field over the course of the year, it is an added benefit that they acquire a hitter who has had career success in their ballpark. Cron has a career batting line of .276/.383/.517 at Citi Field, including two home runs.

The reason for concern regarding Cron is whether he has been susceptible to the “Coors Field” effect. As a general rule, hitters usually perform better than usual in Denver because of the elevation the stadium is at. As a result, most offensive metrics at Coors field are inflated.

Consider Cron’s 2021 numbers. He hit approximately 100 points lower in batting average on the road than he did at home, and most of his home runs last year also came at home. This phenomenon is also the case this year.

His career numbers also reveal the Coors Field effect: Cron holds a career slash line of .265/.326/.483. With the Rockies, however, Cron’s numbers jumped dramatically. Cron has a slash line of .287/.365/.538 in his two seasons with Colorado.

Cron signed a two-year deal with the Rockies last offseason for $14.5 million, so if the Mets were to trade for him, they would be on the hook for Cron’s 2023 salary in his age-33 season. This also makes Cron more valuable to the Rockies, as they can use that remaining year as leverage during trade negotiations.

Considering the fact that Cron is not a free agent after this year, the Rockies do not necessarily need to trade him at the deadline. As a result, it makes a trade slightly more unlikely, since the Rockies will be in a position where they can sit on a deal if they do not like the return offers they receive from interested clubs. But it is no surprise that he has appeared in Mets trade rumors, given that he profiles as a power-hitting designated hitter, which is exactly what the team needs.