The Yankees and the Mets are perfect trading partners and they shouldn’t worry about the negatives that surround a New York only deal.
Worlds are colliding!
That would likely be the George Constanza-like reaction of many New York baseball fans should the Yankees and Mets pull off a trade before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
While it has happened before, the possible names in play this year have raised the stakes and increased the risk that one of the teams could be terrorized by the local media and fans for years to come should things go awry.
The Yankees have made no secret that they would like to add a quality starter. Season-ending Tommy John surgery for Jordan Montgomery, Sonny Gray’s inconsistency and Masahiro Tanaka’s hamstrings have further emphasized this.
Down on the farm, Justus Sheffield will probably see the Bronx at some point this season. But expecting him to be a top starter alongside Luis Severino and matching zeroes with the likes of Verlander, Sale or Kluber in October, is unrealistic.
No, the Yankees want a proven ace to ride to the promised land much like the Astros did with Justin Verlander last season. And with a stocked farm system, they have the means to land one.
The Mets have been in a tailspin since their 11-1 start which had their fans all but chilling the champagne. But injuries and underperformance have rendered their offense anemic while the surprising Braves and Phillies have joined the Nationals as the best of the NL East.
However, starting pitching has not been the problem. Jacob deGrom has been dealing, to say the least. He’s arguably been the best pitcher in baseball, sporting a 1.51 ERA and a 0.986 WHIP. At 29, he’s under team control until 2021 which makes him even more attractive.
Noah Syndergaard, the God of Thunder, could also be on the table, perhaps for less than deGrom but with more risk given his injury history. Syndergaard is 25 and under team control until 2022. Both Jacob and Noah (hmmm, sounds Biblical) earn meager salaries by today’s standards so both should be motivated by potential big paydays ahead.
Sure, there are other names out there that have been bandied about like Madison Bumgarner, Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ. All are lefties which would suit the Yankees however, in MadBum’s case the Giants are still in the mix and are hoping to recover from the ravages of injury in time to compete.
Hamels is not the pitcher he used to be but still gets guys out. However, at 34 and with a year and a half at $40-plus million remaining on his deal, this dog simply won’t hunt. Happ is 35 and a free agent at season’s end. He’s more of a number two or three starter. Do the Yankees really want one (or more) of their prospects haunting them in the AL East for years to come?
Getting down to brass tacks, would a package of Clint Frazier, Tyler Austin along with a Chance Adams, Dillon Tate, Albert Abreu or Luis Medina make sense for the Mets? Frazier would join Nimmo and Conforto, giving the Mets one of the best young outfields in baseball. Austin would immediately slot in at 1B while any of these young pitchers would fortify the Mets’ forsaken farm system.
The Mets may also want to roll the dice with Brandon Drury who has been tearing up Triple-A and plays both second and third base, spots currently occupied for The Yanks by two guys named Torres and Andujar. Drury is 25 and has almost 1000 major league plate appearances under his belt. Guys like Frazier and Austin would also bring some much-needed fire to this somewhat moribund bunch and its fans.
Unlike the 2001 offseason trade between the teams of David Justice for Robin Ventura, the trade scenarios above could have lasting impacts on both franchises. deGrom could be the piece that puts The Yankees over the top and leads them down the Canyon of Heroes once again. And the young Yankee studs could be just what the Mets need to put them in the thick of things with the Nats, Braves and Phils for years to come.
No, a trade between the Yankees and Mets is not as farfetched or sacrilegious as many New Yorkers would think.
Who knows, maybe the Yankees could sweeten the pot by throwing in some of those leftover all cotton uniforms and calzones from the 90s?