New York Mets: Midseason Bullpen Report Cards 3
Apr 6, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Addison Reed (43) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

It’s widely assumed that New York Mets reliever Addison Reed will be traded before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Dealing him away would be a mistake.

I‘d like to believe that most fans of the New York Mets are realistic, so what follows might not apply to you. But there are some out there who are in need of a reality check.

Here it comes.

The Mets are not going to get a package for Addison Reed that resembles the haul the New York Yankees got from the Chicago Cubs for Aroldis Chapman last year.

The return they would get, well, let’s just say it’d be underwhelming.

That’s not a knock on Reed by any means. His last two outings aside, the 28-year-old has been stellar for the Mets. There’s no question that he’d fortify the back-end of a contender’s bullpen.

But so would Baltimore’s Zach Britton. And Miami’s AJ Ramos. And Detroit’s Justin Wilson. See where we’re going with this?

Joel Sherman of the New York Post recently listed nearly a dozen relievers—not including Reed—that are known to be available. A dozen. That’s a large group for contenders to pick from.

Sure, Reed is better than some of them, like Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis’ former closer. And some teams would prefer his expiring contract to one that would impact their future payroll.

But most teams covet controllable players, which many in that group are. A bunch of teams that needed bullpen help, like the Kansas City Royals and Yankees, have already addressed those needs elsewhere.

Late Wednesday night, Colorado swung a deal with Philadelphia for veteran reliever Pat Neshek.

Now I bet you’re saying “Hey, a three-prospect package is pretty good!”

Except only one of the three—Jose Gomez—was good enough to crack MLB Pipeline’s top 30 for the Rockies farm system. And his upside is that of “a sweet-hitting utility man.”

None of this helps to increase Reed’s value.

Teams that are still in the market for a reliever are going to shop around for the best deal. According to Matthew Cerrone of SNY’s Mets Blog, that deal currently isn’t in New York.

General manager Sandy Alderson is right to put a high asking price on Reed, of course. That’s how negotiations work—you start high and fall back to a still-acceptable spot.

But there’s no guarantee that other teams are going to come close to meeting that fallback position. With the way things have gone for the Mets this season, it’s probably safe to assume that a potential trade partner isn’t going to.

So then what? Should the Mets simply move Reed for the best offer they can get?

Trading Reed for a bunch of low-to-mid-level prospects might sound good in theory, but what’s the point? The Mets aren’t embarking on a long rebuild. They’re looking to retool and contend in 2018.

Could they deal Reed and then look to re-sign him after the season? Of course. But why take that risk, giving 29 other teams a crack at signing him?

Reed has proven that he’s capable of filling multiple roles in the bullpen. He’s handled playing in New York with no issues. He belongs in Flushing. Unless the Mets are blown away by an offer, it makes far more sense to keep Reed around.

Not only would he provide insurance for the currently injured Jeurys Familia, as he has in 2017, but a Reed/Familia late-inning combo would be pretty darn good. Quality relievers like Reed don’t grow on trees.

Forget about trading him. It’s time for the Mets to lock him up with an extension.

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