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New York Mets Could Target These Hitters Ahead of Trade Deadline

New York Mets could target these hitters ahead of trade deadline.
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The New York Mets have been one of the best teams in baseball this season, but their holes on offense have been a bit exposed as of late. 

At the moment, their lineup still looks to be at least one slugger away from being a force in the NL. That's because they're lacking in the power department, where first baseman Pete Alonso (22) and shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) are the only two hitters with double-digit home run totals. The next closest are Starling Marte and Eduardo Escobar, who are tied with eight long balls each. 

With general manager Billy Eppler and staff expected to explore the market for another bat ahead of the August 2 deadline, here are a few options that could provide more pop in the middle of the Mets' order. 

Catcher/DH Willson Contreras 

Arguably the best hitting catcher in baseball, Willson Contreras, will be available on the trade market ahead of the deadline. The 30-year-old backstop's contract is set to expire after the season ends, and the rebuilding Chicago Cubs appear to be moving in a different direction. Contreras would fill a major hole in the Mets' lineup, where the team has received little-to-no offensive production from James McCann and Tomas Nido this year. However, adding a catcher this late in the season isn't common, given how difficult it is for said player to learn a new pitching staff on the fly. The Cubs are also believed to be asking for a haul of prospects in exchange for Contreras' services. The Mets also have top prospect catcher Francisco Alvarez, who could force his way into the majors later in the season. It seems more likely that New York looks to other avenues to upgrade their offense. 

1B/DH C.J. Cron

Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron would be a strong addition to the Mets' lineup. His right-handed power bat would slide right into the middle of the order as the team's primary DH, and he could also backup Alonso at first base. But it's not a given that Cron is made available by the Rockies this summer since his contract doesn't expire until after 2023. All the more reason for Colorado to ask for a haul of prospects in return. There's no denying that he'd make a major impact on the Mets' offense, given his power, but the probability of Cron landing in Queens could be a pipe dream. There's also the Coors Field factor that comes into play, as Cron's numbers in the high-altitude of his home ballpark are significantly higher than his road statistics, in which he has greatly struggled away from Colorado the past two seasons since joining the Rockies. 

1B/DH Josh Bell

Josh Bell is expected to be available on the trade market next month. With his contract set to expire after the season ends, the rebuilding Washington Nationals will likely be shopping him. What remains to be seen is whether Nats' GM Mike Rizzo would be willing to send the All-Star switch-hitter to an NL East rival. The 29-year-old doesn't bring much positional versatility, but he would be the perfect impact bat to plug in as the Mets' primary DH, while backing up Alonso at first base in a pinch. A lineup featuring Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, Lindor, Alonso, Bell and Jeff McNeil would have the chance to do some serious damage. Bell seems like the dream fit, slugging-wise, for the Mets' offense. 

DH Nelson Cruz

Bell's teammate, Nelson Cruz, could also be a potential fit. But he holds even less positional versatility, given the fact that the soon-to-be 43-year-old is exclusively a DH. Cruz, who has smashed a total of 457 home runs since making his MLB debut in 2005, hasn't produced the same type of power compared to his career norms this season. He has averaged 27 homers and a .522 slugging-percentage in his career, but it looks like father time is finally catching up with him. On the other hand, he is an aging, short-term rental on a rebuilding team, so he likely wouldn't cost much in assets to acquire. It's possible that he could catch fire with better protection in the Mets' lineup. Cruz would also be reunited with his former Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter

OF/1B/DH Trey Mancini

Speaking of Showalter's former players, Trey Mancini has played for just one playoff team in his six-year MLB career. This of course came during his rookie year when Showalter was his skipper with the Baltimore Orioles. With the 30-year-old's contract nearing a mutual option decision this offseason, now would be the time for the Orioles to trade him. Mancini has right-handed pop, can play the outfield, where the Mets are thin, provide depth at first base, and factor into the equation as a DH. This type of versatility is an aspect that Eppler and Showalter value. One rival talent evaluator in the NL sees the "undervalued" Mancini as the best fit for the Mets ahead of the upcoming trade deadline. The New York Post also reported that the Mets are among the teams showing interest in the Orioles' slugger as well. 

OF Andrew Benintendi

Another outfielder, who would be an intriguing addition to the Mets' lineup is Andrew Benintendi. His contract is expiring after the season, meaning the rebuilding Kansas City Royals will be looking to shop him. He is a Gold Glover in left field and brings a ton of speed. The soon-to-be 28-year-old would help balance the Mets' offense with his left-handed bat, but he isn't the best fit, given his lack of power. He would also take at-bats away from Mark Canha and Luis Guillorme. And due to Benintendi's defensive skills, his value wouldn't be maximized unless he plays the outfield, nixing the possibility of using him as a DH option.  

OF Ian Happ

Ian Happ is another name with an expiring contract, who could be moved by the rebuilding Cubs at the deadline. Happ can play all three outfield positions and has experience at multiple spots in the infield as well. Like Benintendi, Happ, 27, holds valuable defensive skills. But the switch-hitter comes with more power, given his 25-30 homer potential, which makes him a better fit with the Mets, despite possibly taking playing time away from Canha and/or Guillorme. 

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