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How The Mets Can Swing A Trade For José Ramírez

Find out how the Mets can possibly swing a trade for star third baseman José Ramírez.

When it comes to making blockbuster trades with the Cleveland Indians, the Mets already have experience in this area after they acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor from them in January of 2021.

Now, they can potentially pursue another mega-deal with the Indians in order to land star third baseman José Ramírez this winter.

The Indians were shopping Ramírez, who is under contract for two more years, at the trade deadline in July. But they were unable to move him due to their extremely high asking price.

In fact, one source told Inside the Mets that the Blue Jays rejected a deadline offer from Cleveland that would've sent Ramírez to Toronto in exchange for young catcher Alejandro Kirk, plus an assortment of top prospects and major league players.

And while it is evident Ramírez won't come cheap in a trade, the Mets would be filling a major area of need at the hot corner if they were to acquire him.

Not to mention, the switch-hitting Ramírez is a superstar, finishing in the Top 3 in the AL MVP voting in 2018 and 2020. And last season, Ramírez posted another monstrous campaign, slashing .266/.355/.538 with an .893 OPS, 36 home runs, 103 RBIs, 27 steals and a 6.7 bWAR in 152 games.

He is extremely versatile as well, with the ability to play third base, second and shortstop. The 29-year-old is a three-time All-Star, a three-time Silver Slugger Award recipient and a member of the 30-30 club [2018].

So, what might a potential package look like if the Mets were to go after him?

Well, the Mets have a few talented players at the big-league level who had disappointing seasons in 2021, but have shown enough promise to anticipate a bounce back.

However, one of the main root causes to these underwhelming campaigns could be traced back to poor coaching and a misguided approach.

This would explain why Jeff McNeil, a career .319 hitter entering the season, struggled so much at the plate.

Same goes for Dominic Smith, who is a former first-round draft pick and was among the league's best sluggers in a shortened-2020 season.

Both McNeil and Smith are still young and have shown signs of being more than capable with the bat in their careers.

Especially McNeil, an All-Star in 2019 that can play a multitude of positions in the infield and outfield. This type of versatility is valuable, especially since the Indians are thin in the outfield. 

For Smith, he adjusted well defensively as a full-time left fielder last season. But he has proven to be a stellar first baseman, Which is another area of need for the Indians.

And with Pete Alonso solidifying himself as a cornerstone player for the Mets moving forward, another team will be able to better utilize Smith's superb skillset at his best position, which is first base.

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Let's say the Mets dangle McNeil, Smith and a top prospect or two, think the likes of shortstop Ronny Mauricio and/or third baseman/outfielder Mark Vientos. Maybe, even a mid-level prospect such as Jaylen Palmer, It's worth opening a discussion with Cleveland to see if they can find any common ground for a deal.

Not to mention, Mauricio [20 home runs] and Vientos [25 home runs] endured strong seasons in the minors in 2021 and play positions that will likely be blocked in the long-term future on the Mets' big-league roster.

Mauricio is a shortstop, which will be taken up by Lindor for the next 10 years, while Vientos has top prospect Brett Baty breathing down his neck at third base and left field. 

If the Mets get Ramírez to play third, it would allow them to push Baty to left, which is why Vientos is expendable with Baty's higher ceiling not far behind him.

Although Cleveland has only shown previous interest in trading Ramírez for a massive haul, given his talent and being under cheap control for the final two years of his deal [Team options: $12 million in 2022, $14 million in 2023], the Mets have some attractive pieces to offer at the upper-levels of the minors whether they are willing to part with them or not.

For Lindor, the Mets sent infielders Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez and two prospects  in outfielder Isaiah Greene and right-handed pitcher Josh Wolf to the Indians. But the circumstances were a bit different, as Lindor had one year left on his contract and it was clear that Cleveland had no intention of signing him to a long-term deal.

However, Cleveland made the mistake of waiting too long to trade Lindor, which was also affected by the pandemic in 2020. They must avoid making the same mistake with Ramírez if they don't plan on re-signing him, and his cheap contract will also make it easier for them to move him.

After sending Lindor to the Mets, the Indians are still without a succession plan at shortstop. Mauricio would be that piece for them and should be in the big-leagues by 2023. 

If Ramírez truly isn't in the Indians' future blueprint, Vientos could be his replacement at third base and is expected to make his MLB debut at some point next season.

In turn, the Mets would essentially be giving the Indians a left side of an infield with loads of potential, along with two proven big-league hitters who can play in both the infield and outfield. 

Of course, like the Lindor trade which also brought them a starter in Carlos Carrasco, the Mets could ask for a pitcher in this deal as well. This time around, they could possibly target a young promising arm such as righty reliever James Karinchak [4.07 ERA, 78 strikeouts across 55.1 innings].

If the Mets are willing to give up the assets, it could in turn land them a star third baseman, who is under cheap control for the final two years of his deal.

Only this time, unlike Lindor, they can wait until Ramírez plays through a full season in New York, before backing up the brinks truck.

A hitter of Ramírez's caliber can transform a disappointing Mets lineup that is in need of a shakeup. It may also entice second baseman Javier Báez to re-sign with the Mets, which would give them one of, if not the best infield in baseball with Ramírez, Báez, Lindor and Pete Alonso.

While there is no guarantee the Mets will be willing to give up a haul to get Ramírez, it might be worth a discussion with Cleveland to see what it would take.

In order to compete for a playoff spot next season, the Mets are likely going to need to blow past the luxury tax this winter. But trading for Ramirez, who costs a mere total of $12 million in 2022, will help them enhance their roster drastically without spending like drunken sailors.