Trade season is officially here, and the New York Mets have some moves to make. The obvious areas of need are at the backend of the bullpen, the DH spot, and starting pitching.
While the Mets don’t necessarily need a top of the rotation guy, they have been linked to a couple of them. A few weeks ago, there were reports that the Mets checked in on Reds righty Luis Castillo, and they’ve been linked to Frankie Montas since the offseason. I didn’t include Montas on this first ranking because he left Sunday’s game after just 13 pitches with shoulder tightness. If his MRI comes back clean and he’s good to go, he could be on a future ranking, since I’ll be doing this once a week until the trade deadline.
5) NY Mets trade target: Luis Castillo
The Mets may not need another ace, but it sounds like they want one, and Luis Castillo would be a wonderful addition to this team. With Scherzer nearing his return and deGrom on his rehab assignment, imagine adding Castillo to create a three-headed monster at the top of the rotation. Those guys, plus some combination of Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker, and Carlos Carrasco at the back of the rotation, would be unstoppable.
The reason he’s #5 on the power ranking is that, as I mentioned in the intro, an ace is not the Mets priority right now. They need some depth, like Chad Kuhl or another guy who is solid and can just eat innings. However, they have proven that they are willing to go big, and I hope they do.
4) NY Mets trade target: Ji-Man Choi
It pains me to say this, but the Mets need to move on from Dom Smith. Other than the shortened 2020 season, he just hasn’t performed. Acquiring Ji-Man Choi would give the Mets a capable DH, as well as a first baseman who can fill in for Alonso when he DH’s or needs a day off. He’s also a really fun personality to add to this team.
Trading Choi makes sense for the Rays as well. They have two other guys capable of playing first in Yandy Diaz and Harold Ramirez, plus they have their #4 prospect, Curtis Mead, in AAA. Mead could debut later this season if he continues performing the way he has been, but obviously they need an open spot at first base to call him up.
3) NY Mets trade target: David Robertson
The Mets need a reliable arm at the back of the bullpen, and that’s exactly what David Robertson is. He may not be flashy, but the Mets already have that in Edwin Diaz, so that’s fine. When you’re thinking of reliable bullpen pitchers over the last decade or so, Robertson is in that conversation. The Mets would greatly benefit from his consistency.
2) NY Mets trade target: Trey Mancini
Reports surfaced late last week that the Mets were interested in Baltimore’s first baseman, corner outfielder, and DH, Trey Mancini. Until these reports came out, I never thought he would be a fit in Queens, but the more I think about it, the more I like it.
Similar to Choi, he would be the DH/backup first baseman replacing Dom Smith, with the added bonus that Mancini is capable of playing the corner outfield spots when needed, which Choi can’t do. Mancini could also benefit from leaving that horrible new outfield wall in Baltimore, which, according to his spray chart on Baseball Savant, may have taken six homers away from him. He’s got six doubles that would’ve been over the old fence.
1) NY Mets trade target: Tanner Scott
Chasen Shreve has really struggled this year, giving the Mets no choice but to seek a left-handed pitcher to add to the bullpen. Enter Tanner Scott, who has been nasty for the Marlins, as Mets fans have recently seen. He’s become the closer, in part due to some injuries, but he’s also earned it with his recent dominance.
I would categorize the lefty reliever as the Mets’ biggest need as of right now. Joely Rodriguez has been fine, and his metrics indicate he’s due for more success. Shreve, on the other hand, simply can’t make too many more appearances in blue and orange. Adding Scott gives the Mets a dominant, late-inning guy to pair with Diaz and Trevor May, once he returns.