The Mets entered 2023 with championship aspirations. At that point, we expected the Mets trade deadline haul to include a bunch of players to help for the stretch run.
Instead, it’s mostly prospects and minimal amounts of payroll relief. Since investing $350-plus million into the club hasn’t led to seriously being in contention, at least New York is finding ways to work toward other organizational goals, right? That’s all we have left to hold onto at the moment.
Since general manager Billy Eppler has been a busy guy, I thought it’d be good to summarize what was done ahead of the deadline so it’s all in one spot.
Eduardo Escobar to Los Angeles Angels
The Mets trading Escobar wasn’t them waving the white flag yet. It was a deal that made sense, especially given the return they were getting from L.A. Plus, it happened more than a month before the deadline. New York sent Escobar and cash to the Angels in exchange for RHP Coleman Crow and RHP Landon Marceaux.
These two currently rank 14th and 22nd, respectively, on MLB.com’s top-30 Mets prospect list.
David Robertson to Miami Marlins
Now, this trade? Yea, dealing the Mets’ closer in Robertson was them waving the white flag. New York netted a couple of teenage prospects who are currently playing in the Florida Complex League. One is shortstop Marco Vargas and the other is catcher Ronald Hernandez.
These two rank seventh and 19th, respectively, on MLB.com’s Mets top-30 prospect list.
Max Scherzer to Texas Rangers
Mere hours after saying he needed to speak to team brass about the Mets’ immediate direction, Scherzer was packing bags for Texas. In addition to sending the right-hander to the Rangers, the Mets included $35.51 million to cover the majority of his remaining contract.
In exchange, the Mets received infielder Luisangel Acuña, who is now the organization’s second-best prospect behind Kevin Parada.
Mark Canha to Milwaukee Brewers
New York had a couple of available outfield bats in high demand, and Mark Canha was the first to go. The Mets sent Canha and a bunch of money (Milwaukee is only paying him the league minimum) in exchange for pitcher Justin Jarvis.
Jarvis was recently promoted to Triple-A for the Brewers, and he’s now the Mets’ 13th-best prospect.
Justin Verlander to Houston Astros
In the span of three days, Eppler traded two future Hall of Famers. This time, it included sending Justin Verlander back to the Houston Astros. In return, Houston sent two of their top-five prospects: outfielders Drew Gilbert (no. 1) and Ryan Clifford (no. 4).
If JV’s 2025 option vests, the Mets will end up paying about $54 million of the $93 million he’s owed, per Bob Nightengale.
Tommy Pham to Arizona Diamondbacks
Of all the Mets’ trade candidates, Tommy Pham was one of the most likely to head out of town. That’ll happen when you play well on a one-year, $6 million deal. It was a little surprising that New York didn’t trade him until hours before the deadline. However, since the position-player market was weaker than in recent years, Eppler probably held out for the best offer he could find.
That apparently was 17-year-old shortstop Jeremy Rodriguez from the Diamondbacks.
The Mets acquired 17-year-old shortstop Jeremy Rodriguez for Tommy Pham
He was the D-Backs top international free agent signing this past period for $1.25M
— Joe DeMayo (@PSLToFlushing) August 1, 2023
Dominic Leone to Los Angeles Angels
The Mets traded a second relief pitcher on Deadline Day, but it wasn’t Brooks Raley or Adam Ottavino. Of all people, it was Dominic Leone. New York received Double-A middle infielder Jeremiah Jackson from Los Angeles. He was ranked as L.A.’s ninth-best prospect within their organization.
Phil Bickford and Adam Kolarek to New York Mets
The Mets spent most of their time leading up to the deadline effectively buying prospects from other teams, why not just buy players outright? MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reported that New York sent cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitchers Phil Bickford (who had been in DFA limbo) and Adam Kolarek (a 34-year-old pitcher currently in the minors but with MLB experience).
Trevor Gott to New York Mets
Remember when it looked like the Mets were trying to will themselves to be buyers? Yea, I hardly do, too. New York sent Zach Muckenhirn to Seattle in exchange for Gott (who they really wanted) and Chris Flexen (who they released shortly after acquiring him).
Considering the circumstances, it seems like Eppler and Co. did pretty well at this year’s deadline. However, let’s hope the Mets trade deadline activity in the future won’t look like this.