Hamilton, 35, is dealing with inflammation in his surgically repaired left knee, and hasn’t played more than 100 games in a season since 2013.
However, that could change as Opening Day nears.
According to Rosenthal, the Mets want to ensure they will still have depth going into the season before dealing De Aza. Already, the organization has lost top outfield prospect Brandon Nimmo for an extended period of time with a partially torn tendon in his foot.
After the surprise signing of Yoenis Cespedes last month, De Aza’s projected role was greatly diminished. Now, he is a fifth outfielder at best behind Cespedes, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, and Curtis Granderson. His price tag of $5.75 million with possible incentives to go higher than that may be too much for someone in a lesser role. The signing of Roger Bernadina to a minor league contract makes him even more expendable.
That being said, it may be difficult to trade De Aza before the season starts. As Rosenthal notes, David Murphy, Will Venable, and Matt Joyce, all comparable players to De Aza, are still on the free agent market. De Aza would also have to approve any trade before June 15, which may or may not be an issue.
De Aza, 31, hit .262/.333/.422 in 114 games between the Orioles, Red Sox, and Giants last season.