As we inch closer to the MLB trade deadline, which is now just 44 hours away, the Mets' plan is starting to become clearer.
But don't expect a deal to get done by Wednesday night, as nothing is close as of yet. While there are currently a number of names being discussed internally, nothing is imminent at the moment, a source tells Inside the Mets.
However, Mets general manager Zack Scott, who went on The Carton & Roberts show on WFAN this afternoon, pretty much revealed the type of players they have their eye on, which includes: a depth starter, a reliever and a versatile bat.
With Carlos Carrasco (torn hamstring) returning from the IL, along with the addition of Rich Hill, once Jacob deGrom is healthy which should be soon, the Mets will have six reliable starting pitchers in their rotation. Plus, Noah Syndergaard (elbow inflammation) is expected back in September.
While Scott says they will continue to add to this unit no matter who is projected to return, they are more likely to acquire a backend depth starter to provide insurance to this group.
“The deal for Hill helps, and we have Carrasco and deGrom coming back, so I feel pretty good on our direction,” Scott said. “But we had three recent games where TBA was our starter, and that’s less than ideal. We’re still interested though because our depth is still pretty much who we have right now. If we can acquire someone who improves that depth, we’re open to that.”
This basically rules out the possibility of trading for Twins starter Jose Berrios, who Minnesota is reportedly asking for two top 100 prospects, and a pre-arbitration player for. Scott also confirmed that a trade for Nationals ace Max Scherzer is "not happening."
“Right now, assessing the market, I’d say it’s more of a depth guy; I do think we have good top of the rotation guys," he said. "We have a good chance to make the postseason, and if we have our top three healthy with Carrasco continuing to get lengthened out, we have some depth there. It’s more likely to be someone who raises our floor than our ceiling, in a sense, to keep us from having less than ideal options taking the mound.”
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets asked the Milwaukee Brewers about starting pitchers Brett Anderson and Eric Lauer. But the Brewers were not interested in trading with the Mets, who are competing with them in the National League.
Regarding bullpen options, Scott said they are looking for upgrades via a high-leverage arm, but stood by his stance that they are confident in Edwin Diaz, as their closer.
And last but not least, the Mets are scaling the market for a bat, but prefer someone with versatility, who can potentially play shortstop until Francisco Lindor returns from his Grade 2 right oblique strain (3-5 week ETA).
Cubs shortstop Javier Baez is one name that comes to mind, due to the fact that he recently expressed his desire to play with Lindor, and would only consider playing second base in order to do so. Baez can also play third base with 629.1 career innings at the hot corner. Baez is set to become a free-agent after the season.
Speaking of the hot corner, Carton and Roberts asked Scott if the Mets were still interested in Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant.
“Kris Bryant is a really good player, and we have to be in on good players –we’re the New York Mets, we have to be in on anyone who can make an impact.”
Whatever does wind up happening in the next two days, Scott emphasized the importance of the team's chemistry, which is why he will talk to Luis Rojas and the rest of the Mets' clubhouse, before making a move that's going to shift guys around into different roles. Leading up until this point, Scott has spoken to Rojas for feedback about potential trade options and how they'd impact the team.