“It’s hard to see how we would actually match up,” a team official told Andy Martino of the Daily News when asked if the Cubs were ideal trade partners for the Mets..
The problem is that neither team is eager to part with its top prospects, and both would require a major haul to do so. In other words, the Mets will likely find the Cubs’ prices too high, and vice-versa.
Martino provides two examples:
1. The Mets might consider parting with Noah Syndergaard for shortstop prospect Addison Russell. That’s great, but we’re told that the Cubs would almost certainly want another top prospect. The Mets would consider that too steep. No deal.
2. The Mets consider Zack Wheeler, plus a “sweetener” like Wilmer Flores, a reasonable price for Starlin Castro. That does not mean that the Mets would definitely make that deal, just that they wouldn’t consider the request inappropriate. But guess what? The Cubs would say, “Ok, Wheeler and Flores. That’s a decent start. What else will you give us? Maybe Jacob deGrom? Syndergaard?”
One more important factor to note is that the Cubs are ready to spend significant money on pitching, so they don’t need to sacrifice any prospects.
The Mets on the other hand have no such luxury. Last offseason the Mets said they were ready to spend and instead cut payroll by another $10 million from the previous season.
Look, I believe the Mets are two significant pieces away from making some real noise in the NL East for the rest of this decade. However I have no faith that we have the dollars or commitment to see this through.
I hope I’m wrong.
With Chicago in town, John Harper of the Daily News has been talking with different front office people from both sides, asking what it would take for the Mets and Cubs to make a trade this winter.
Many baseball people speculate that it’s practically inevitable, considering the Cubs are loaded with shortstops and the Mets clearly need one, no matter how much they try to wish Wilmer Flores into being the answer there.
One source told him that the most obvious trade chip would be Starlin Castro, however the Mets seem reluctant to give up one of their top young pitchers for what they see as the “talented but flawed” shortstop.
The Mets would prefer to deal for Addison Russell, the 20-year-old Double-A shortstop acquired from the A’s in July in the Jeff Samardzija trade, who is expected to be major-league ready at some point next season. But as I’ve written before, it would require a major, major, overpay and that’s never been Sandy Alderson’s style.
Then you have Javier Baez, the power-hitting middle infielder who already has four home runs in 12 big-league games. But Harper learned that the Mets front office doesn’t believe the Cubs would trade him even if it was for Noah Syndergaard, who “they have scouted repeatedly.”
Unsurprisingly, another source believes that Mets may just hold onto their young pitchers and the plan will be the same as last offseason, trying to find s left fielder and shortstop upgrade in free agency.
On the trade front, the Mets would prefer to give up Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, or Rafael Montero, but none of them will attract any trade with the Cubs who will certainly want one of the high-end guys — Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom or Syndergaard.
But the bottom line is that if the Mets don’t give the Cubs the young high-ceiling pitcher they covet, there’s no shortage of teams in the majors that are also looking to get their hands on either Russell, Baez or Castro.
Also, I agree with Harper that Castro will be the one to go. I liken it to the Mets version of trading wanting to trade Gee and keeping Wheeler (Baez) and Thor (Russell).