Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors wrote a piece yesterday talking about potential bad contracts that could be swapped this offseason.
The Mets have multiple contracts that fall into this category with last offseason’s shopping cart ending up making the list entirely.
Now, in my opinion, not all of these players are really legitimate candidates to be dealt. However, some of them have greater odds than others.
In terms of players that could be dealt by themselves without having to attach a piece to them to entice another team, the only ones that fall into that category are Todd Frazier and Juan Lagares.
However, in order for anyone to agree to take those two in a deal, it likely would take the Mets chipping in some money to cover part of their salaries. Frazier and Lagares are both set to make $9 million this season, but the latter’s contract contains a $9.5 million team option with a $500K buyout.
Meanwhile, Bruce, Swarzak, and Vargas would all require the team to either attach someone of value to entice them or take back a bad contract instead.
For example, it is very plausible that if the Mets actually decide to trade Syndergaard that they demand that the team also take a minimum of one of those three deals. In terms of logistics, Bruce would make the most sense to request the other team to take back as he is making the most money of the three ($13 million), is under contract the longest (through the 2020 season), and does not currently have a clear role on the team.
Swarzak and Vargas both currently have roles on the team that would require the Mets to acquire new pieces if they were to trade them away. While they could certainly use upgrades as neither one faired particularly well in 2018, they at least fit into the plan to an extent and in areas that the team lacks depth.
The one contract on this list that has almost zero shot of being dealt is that of Yoenis Cespedes. While he definitely has had the most success of the bunch in his career, no team will be comfortable taking on a player who just had double-heel surgery, will be out until at least July of 2019, has only played 119 games over the last two seasons, and is still owed $58.5 million over the next two years.
Whatever the case, these six deals are all ones the team would love to move and if the team trades Syndergaard, the odds are very high that at least one of the deals mentioned above is included.