The New York Mets have some trades to make in the next couple of weeks. Obviously the biggest needs right now are bullpen pitchers and a DH, but I want to look at some smaller moves the Mets can make to improve this team.
Here are five under the radar position players the Mets can target before the trade deadline.
NY Mets under the radar trade target: Jorge Mateo
Jorge Mateo could be an electric player off the bench. He is an elite baserunner and defender, the problem is, he just doesn’t hit. He’d be very useful in a pinch-runner-that-stays-in-for-defense role.
There’s nothing pretty about his .205/.258/.353/.610 slash line, or his 72 OPS+. He does show some pop, with 12 doubles, four triples, and seven homers.
The reason to trade for him is his AL-best 22 stolen bases. He has an elite average sprint speed of 30.2 ft/sec, which is 4th in all of baseball and in the 99th percentile. He’s a great base runner overall, having already tallied a 3.5 BsR, which is tied with Dansby Swanson and Luis Robert for 7th in MLB.
Mateo is also a fantastic defender. Fangraphs has him at 13 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and eight Outs Above Average (OAA) at shortstop, where he’s played the vast majority of his innings. He also has one DRS at second. He’s played a little bit of outfield too, posting 0 DRS in center and left fields, and -1 in right. He’s an adequate or better defender wherever he goes.
Mateo just turned 27 and he’s eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter. He won’t become a free agent until 2026. This would be a cost-effective boost to the bench and overall athleticism of this team.