As if the recent deals involving David Robertson and Max Scherzer weren’t enough of a sign, the Mets are trade deadline sellers this year. The next couple of days will be interesting as we wait to see who is still in the clubhouse once the dust settles shortly after 6 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. But what do the Cubs have to do with what New York is up to?
While the Mets are listening to teams calling about Justin Verlander, it’s looking increasingly likely that he’ll stick around in Queens. At least that seems to be the case this very second. It could change in about an hour.
Scherzer’s departure signaled just about anything is on the table for general manager Billy Eppler. Two players who have seen their names churned in the rumor mill the most, though, are Tommy Pham and Mark Canha. Heck, they were even mentioned as some of the top outfield options not too long ago.
Speaking of the best available outfield options, Cody Bellinger of the Cubs was right at the top. He was the apple of many teams’ eyes, including the Yankees. At the start of July, Chicago was looking like a seller, but like I said, things can change.
They lost to the Cardinals on Sunday, which snapped an incredible eight-game win streak. They’ve also gone 11-5 since the All-Star break, bringing their season-long record to 53-52. That has them just four games out of first place in the NL Central and 3.5 games back of the NL Wild Card. So thanks to all that winning, the Cubs have decided to take Bellinger off the market:
This can't come a shock at this point. Amazing, the team made it an easier decision than anyone could have guessed (I assume). Sources: Cubs tell teams Bellinger won't be dealt https://t.co/wavoECw6Bh
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) July 30, 2023
With what appeared to be the most prized outfielder no longer being available, it makes the others who still are even more appealing. Especially after the Angels nabbed Randal Grichuk (and C.J. Cron) from the Rockies:
BREAKING: The Angels are acquiring OF Randal Grichuk and 1B C.J. Cron from the Rockies, per source. Colorado gets back RHP Jake Madden and LHP Mason Albright.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 31, 2023
We don’t know exactly how many more trades the Mets will make, or how many more dudes will be sent packing. But if we had to make a guess on the two most likely still left to be traded, it would be Pham and Canha, and probably in that order.
The Cubs taking Bellinger off the market well before the deadline is huge. One can assume Eppler is fielding plenty of phone calls now because of it. Waving the white flag on this season hasn’t been a popular move. However, he’s seemingly done pretty well when it comes to prospect haul.
So, we’ll see what he’s got left with the trade chips still available to him.