With the rumors swirling of the New York Mets supposed interest in multiple trade targets, which players on the 40-man roster are the Mets best trade assets?
Whether fans believe it or not, the New York Mets seem to think that they can contend for a playoff spot in 2018. With that in mind, stud players such as Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto, and Amed Rosario will not appear on this list, because the Mets could kiss any chances of contending goodbye by moving one of them.
With that let’s sift through the names that are expendable.
4. Juan Lagares
Lagares is not a perfect player, he’s far from it, but he’s baseball’s best defensive center fielder in my opinion. When he was right and healthy, from 2014-15, he was exceptional chasing down balls in the gap on his way to compiling a 40.1 UZR.
His ability to hit lefties adequately could create some intrigue for teams as he’s slashed .267/.314/.400 for his career against southpaws. Quite honestly, Lagares would likely be higher on this list if his contract was more reasonable.
Over the next two seasons, Lagares will make $15.5 million with a $9.5 million option for the 2020 season. In terms of his stock, those contract numbers may scare some clubs away and depress his value.
His injury history will not aid trade value either, as Lagares has had multiple thumb injuries over the past few years. Lagares’ total package can basically be summed up as this: Elite defender, decent speed, weak hitter, bloated contract, and scary injury history.
If he were to be moved, we can only hope that this time around there would be fewer tears. Wilmer is an attractive trade target for other clubs not only due to his versatility but because he’s a strong hitter against left-handed pitching.
In 2017, he slashed .291/.309/.553 and hit seven home runs in just 45 games against left-handers. Let us also not forget that Wilmer improved against right-handers last season as well slashing .262/.306/.459 while smacking his other 11 home runs.
But of course, Wilmer finds himself in the three spot here due to his dreadful defense that he cannot escape. Does he even have a position? Whether it’s first, second, or third base Wilmer is going to be a defensive liability. Maybe an American League team will consider him more valuable, due to their ability to hide him at designated hitter.
2. AJ Ramos
Ramos’ two-month stint with the Mets in 2017 did not go as planned. After the Mets moved a decent prospect in Merandy Gonzalez in exchange for Ramos, he repaid them with a 4.74 ERA in 21 appearances.
Recently, Ramos found his way into the news as possible trade bait for a second baseman.
Interesting tidbit: As @Ken_Rosenthal reported last night, a source confirmed that Mets reliever AJ Ramos is available in trade talks. Mets signed Swarzak, could deal Ramos and then add another reliever.
— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) December 20, 2017
This would definitely be creative considering the Mets bullpen isn’t exactly a strength, but if Ramos could help fetch a quality player in return, it would be worth it. Ramos will be attractive to other teams almost entirely because of his closing experience.
Adding a player that teams know can handle the high leverage ninth inning will always be desirable. In six career seasons, Ramos has 99 saves, which includes a 40 save season under his belt as well.
Not to mention 2017 was Ramos’ age-30 season, which means he is still in the prime of his career. Ramos’ contract should not scare any teams away with just one year of arbitration left for 2018.
1. Steven Matz
And here it is, the bombshell. One of the supposed “five aces,” and the only left-hander at that, Matz has all the talent in the world but no health to go along with it. Back-to-back seasons ended by elbow surgery have made Matz’s stock much more of a question mark.
When he’s healthy though, this is a lefty who can dial it up to the upper 90’s with his fastball and then drop the devastating hammer with his curveball. Not to mention that effective changeup as well, Matz really is the full package in terms of repertoire and stuff.
Unfortunately, it’s all about injuries with him. He was strong in 2015 as a rookie in a limited stint in the playoffs. Then in 2016 he pitched well the first half of the season, but the wheels started to fall off right around when his elbow became balky, ultimately leading to season-ending surgery.
In 2017, not much was different, a surgery to move the ulnar nerve in his elbow ended his season yet again. All of this is to say, Matz’s ability is up there with some of the top left-handers in the league, which is why the Mets could find a valuable return for him if they decide to put him on the trade block.