The New York Mets had a great start to their offseason before the owners implemented the lockout. The additions of Max Scherzer, Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha, and Starling Marte really strengthened the roster, but the Mets aren’t done yet.
The New York Mets are reportedly putting Jeff McNeil on the trade block, and expecting a starting pitcher in return.
McNeil was one of the better second baseman in baseball from 2018 to 2020. Over those three seasons, he slashed .319/.383/.501/.884 with 10 homers, 21 doubles, and a 139 OPS+ per season. However, he really struggled in 2021 to the tune of a .251/.319/.360/.679 slash line with just seven homers and an OPS+ of 88.
Thankfully for the Mets, teams value McNeil as the 2018-20 version rather than the 2021 version.
One team to keep an eye on here is the Oakland A’s. They are going into a full rebuild, and they will have several starting pitchers available once the lockout ends. Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea, and Cole Irvin are all possible targets that the Mets, and surely many other teams, will check in on.
The Cincinnati Reds are another team to watch. They seem poised to blow it all up as well, and they’ve got two starters that many teams will have interest in. The big name is ace Luis Castillo, but they will also have #2 starter Sonny Gray available.
I think it’s time the Mets trade McNeil. Even during his good seasons, his expected stats were bad, so I don’t know if he’ll ever get back to that form. You also have to consider that his career-year in 2019 happened during the juiced-ball season. He’s not going to top 20 homers and a .900 OPS again. His attitude has also been a problem since he came up. I will not miss his temper tantrums.
The Mets have options at second. Robinson Cano is coming back, although I don’t know if he’ll play the field at 39 years old. He might be better suited at DH and they can put Guillorme at second until Ronny Mauricio is ready to take over.