3. Tom Cosgrove, San Diego Padres
Why trade for a rental in Juan Soto when we can have a young controllable relief pitcher? Drafted in the 12th round of 2017 from Manhattan College, Tom Cosgrove has become more than the left-handed specialist he was advertised to be. After moving to the bullpen in AA, the Staten Island native pitched to a 2.36 ERA in 26.2 innings in 2021 and a 3.72 ERA in 55.2 innings between AA and AAA in 2022. He was even more impressive in his 2023 rookie season with the Padres, pitching to a 1.75 ERA in 51.1 innings with 44 strikeouts.
Cosgrove is a pure replica of Jerry Blevins. He possesses a devastating slider that sits in the low-80s and can surprise batters with a 92 MPH fastball. Though most effective against left-handers, Cosgrove proved he could get righties out at the major league level as well. His control is much more defined than that of Saalfrank or Little, walking just 19 batters in 51.1 innings pitched.
With the Padres open for business, the Mets should explore this trade given the volatility the free agent market is offering. At just 27 years old, Cosgrove has the opportunity to pair with Edwin Diaz in the late innings for years to come. Given the Mets are building for 2025 and beyond, all three of Saalfrank, Little, and Cosgrove would fit into this equation. Unlike signing a veteran free agent to a multi-year contract, none of the above come with financial risk and have minor league options if necessary.