The rumor mill is about to be churning out hypothetical scenarios en masse as the trade deadline nears. Most of the rumors will lead to nothing, some will come to fruition, and on occasion, a deal nobody saw coming surprises us all.
With the second wild card available, many teams will not count themselves out, sometimes to their own detriment (Mr. Preller). Panic City may have had a population boom with recent play and injuries, though it is still contrary to the fact that the Mets have a very realistic chance at reaching the playoffs. For that reason the Mets should be buyers and not sellers come August 1st.
As buyers the Mets will be dealing from a farm system that has more talent than published rankings would indicate. The list below isn’t a ranking of prospects by any means, just some names that could be on the move. You will not find Amed Rosario listed among them, and surely he will rightfully be the ask from every GM. Though a reasonable case could be made for Andrew Miller, I don’t think the front office enters a bidding war. I also don’t see the Mets shopping on the high end of the available talent pool (Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun, Carlos Gonzalez) that would warrant moving a Rosario. So here goes…
- Gavin Cecchini – It is well known that he has been struggling in the field. He is also hitting .317/.398/.439 on the season. With Rosario breathing down his neck and Dilson Herrera at second he may have more value with another organization. His trade value is as a primary prospect with a flier or two and land a slightly controllable second team everyday player who would provide bench help or a true back end starter. (Think Trevor Plouffe or Jorge De La Rosa)
- Andrew Church – It hasn’t been quite the Michael Fulmer rise for the young righty but he has gone from a forgotten 2nd round pick to someone that teams will surely ask for. The 21-year old is 5-1 with a 2.38 ERA in nine starts between the Columbia Fireflies and St. Lucie Mets.
- Rafael Montero – The recent demotion to AA has more to do with salvaging whatever value he has left than it does with his play. He needs to get his head straight and a change of organizational scenery would help. Doesn’t have much if any value though and would probably be a secondary piece for a major league player.
- Josh Smoker – His numbers may not be as impressive as last season, but he has a 13.3 K/9 and the bloated ERA should be chalked up to the PCL. With the Mets looking for relief help he could go in exchange for MLB reliever that can help the Mets now as it would free up a 40-man roster spot. (Paging Mr. Preller again, possibly Ryan Buchter or Brad Hand).
- Robert Gsellman – The highest upside of all the pitchers in the upper minors, he gives me a very 2014 prospect deGrom-like feeling. If he were to be dealt I would anticipate a starting pitcher return (Hector Santiago ?)
- Milton Ramos – The glove first shortstop is buried by better all around talent at the position throughout the Mets system. He could be among some other team’s top shortstop prospects, however on the Mets he is sixth at best. His value is as a secondary upside piece that could sweeten a deal.
Teams will ask about Dom Smith and Dilson Herrera but like Rosario they fall into the major purchase territory that the team doesn’t seem to be shopping in. The team seems to be in cautious buyer mode that doesn’t disrupt the long term outlook. Bullpen, secondary bench pieces, and back end pitching seem to be the order of the day. Other names that could be brought up by other GMs include ranking climbers Tomas Nido, Logan Taylor, and Thomas Szapucki.