Most irresistible Mets trade targets provide a rare opportunity

New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals
New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Billy Eppler, Sandy Alderson, and Steve Cohen made a huge impact in November while they could add players to the New York Mets roster. However, before the season begins with whatever amount of offseason they will have left, they’re not doing their job if they don’t at least give a strong offer to the crew over in the Bay Area.

The Oakland Athletics are committing the sin of fans. They are expected to sell whatever they can this offseason to whoever comes along with the best offer.

Among those available players are three starting pitchers. Singer Robert Palmer would agree, it’s simply irresistible.

The NY Mets front office isn’t getting the job done if they fail to swing hard for one of the Athletics pitchers

There is a lot to like about the three available starting pitcher the Athletics will shop. The threesome of Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea, and Frankie Montas would intrigue any club hoping to compete in 2022. All affordable on the payroll with a year of control left for Bassitt and Manaea with two seasons tagged onto Montas, the Mets’ greatest challenge is selecting which one they want to target the hardest.

Situations like this don’t come around often. Normally, a team in the A’s position wouldn’t be looking to sell. They would be ready to buy.

In most cases, when there’s a starting pitcher like any of these three on the trade block, teams can only shop one of them around. The Cincinnati Reds, for instance, have Luis Castillo as the top-tier guy likely to get traded. Sonny Gray has his own shortcomings and Tyler Mahle may need to prove a little more before he falls into the same category as any of the three in Oakland. The Reds also don’t seem quite as desperate as Oakland to shed salary. They have an upper hand on any team ready to do business with them.

The Athletics could start to feel desperate at some point with Bassitt and Manaea in particular. One strategy, if they don’t like the offers they get, could be to enter the season and trade them at the deadline. The trouble here is you lose some leverage in the trade. Plus, you’re risking an injury. Players traded at the deadline often cost far less. You also have fewer teams to deal with. Right now, far more teams feel ready to compete. In July, many will already be buried after going into the year with far higher expectations.

Alderson’s connection to the Athletics organization should give the Mets at least an open door to discuss a deal. It won’t help them execute a trade. But maybe, if the Mets are feeling lucky, they get a benefit of matching any trade offer Oakland does receive. We can only hope.

The Mets cannot enter the season without a guy on the roster who looks capable of being their number three starter. It would be a mistake that could cost them the whole year.