Although the New York Mets are technically sellers at this year’s non-waiver trade deadline, they still believe they can compete in 2019.
Hearing that the New York Mets were planning on being non-waiver trade deadline sellers back in the middle of June was not shocking to anyone. The bigger question, though, was how open they would be to trading from their big-league roster. Initial reports said they were open to entertaining offers on “virtually anyone,” but it appears the deadline will come and go without a huge trade.
Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera are already on new teams, while current Mets such as Devin Mesoraco and Jose Bautista could potentially be the next ones to leave town. Any trades involving those guys would be important, but everyone is monitoring the Mets’ rumor mill with three dudes in mind: Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Zack Wheeler.
The possibility of trading Syndergaard or deGrom was always far-fetched, but Wheeler was a more realistic candidate. However, unless something drastic happens before Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET, all three hurlers will remain in Queens, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Mets will keep deGrom, Syndergaard through deadline b/c they don't want to rebuild–which is also part of reason why they aren't lowering price on Wheeler. They intend to contend next year, and will need to round out their rotation, and looks like Wheeler will be part of it.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 30, 2018
It’s easy to argue this strategy on both ends of the spectrum. For those in favor of trading away Wheeler — who may never see his trade value this high again — New York could receive a meaningful prospect package (even if it’s not their current asking price). Plus, dealing the right-hander doesn’t mean a full rebuild is in the works, either — with Syndergaard and deGrom leading the way, the Mets’ desire of competing in 2019 would still be intact.
On the other hand, having these three together and healthy (assuming Wheeler continues showing he’s the pitcher they’ve seen since June 1) is a terrific base for a contending ball club. There’s only one caveat, though: the front office will then need to fill legitimate holes throughout the remainder of the roster before next April.
Having these pitchers — we can throw lefty Steven Matz in there, too — is what the organization was waiting for throughout the most recent rebuild. Now is the time they’re supposed to reap the benefits! But in order to do that, they must come up with an answer at catcher and second base, along with some backend starters and likely help for the bullpen.
Doing so will involve taking some risks and making some bold(er) moves this winter. No rebuild is awesome news, but if there aren’t significant changes to roster weak spots by next spring, there’s a bigger problem going on here.