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MLB Trading Deadline 2022: Should Mets Target Contreras, Soto?

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By Deesha Thosar
FOX Sports MLB Writer

About 7 or 8 times in Citi Field, Mets The remaining players in the dugout look up at the out-of-town scoreboard on the left fielder. Their eyes will find a white A set swirling on a dark blue background.

The Braves usually win. Atlanta has recorded 35 wins (11 losses) since June 1. Mets played .500 balls on that stretch.

Newyork and Atlanta are fighting for the lead in the National League East, but the next time rivals in these divisions meet in Queens on August 4, their team should appear to be improving. Mets in particular has holes in the roster that must be addressed.

Is the combination of familiarity with Tomas Nido’s defense and lack of aggressive success guaranteed to keep him as the first catcher over next month? Jacob DeGrom’s health is constantly uncertain, but can Mets afford to stay idle in the starting pitcher market? Is Mets in a position to go to Juan Soto?

Beyond Mets’ obvious needs, such as the help of the bullpen, next week’s August 2 closing deadline will be appealing to general manager Billy Eppler and his front office. Mets started the trading season by picking up slugger Daniel Vogelbach in exchange for new relief Colin Holderman. That was the beginning.

However, there is still much work to be done, starting with the pesky situation behind the plate.

1. Backstop blues

Mets catcher James McCann has played only 30 games this year due to a fractured left hamate and diagonal tension. But even if he was healthy, his number on the plate was disappointing, and that’s not the only problem. It’s a tricky trend for Mets catchers this season, and the front office hasn’t been able to handle it before.

McCann, Nido and Patrick Mazeika combined MLB’s seventh worst batting average of .197, the last and last .503 catcher OPS, and the league’s worst 48 wRC + (100 is the league average). Mets appreciates the defensive backstop, but it’s very difficult to ignore the 9-spot gapped holes. The Mets lineup needs to boost the team’s most aggressive and overwhelming position, the catcher. Not because if Nido is injured, the predicament becomes even uglier.

“They did a good defensive job,” Buck Showalter said of his catcher. “Throw and call the game. Attacks go back and forth in some way.”

a little? There were no crimes to speak.

Join Wilson Contreras of the Cubs in the trading block, owning the fourth best catcher OPS (.844) in MLB. Contreras will become a free agent later this season and will sacrifice at least a few prospects that Mets may not want to give up.

But three all-stars sporting 1.073 OPS against left-handers would be a significant upgrade. Mets’ batting average against the southpaw this season was .238, ranking 21st in the sport, slightly better than the other three NL teams.

If Mets is concerned about Contreras’ defense and framing issues, they can use him in DH. They have .605 OPS from the DH spot, ranked 27th in MLB, and ranked Cleveland, Arizona, and Auckland in the basement. If the Cubs are interested in bringing leaflets to Dominic Smith, who the Mets have been trying to move since spring training, Contreras’s deal may not require much transportation.

In any case, upgrading with a catcher and finally supplementing Contreras with McCann has great benefits for Mets.

2. Cy Young — or fear of perennial health

A few weeks ago, when deGrom reached all rehab benchmarks and reported success, the need for a Mets starting catcher was somewhere low to medium. However, its urgency soared last week after the team announced DeGrom’s “mild shoulder pain,” which delayed his fourth rehab outing.

This is an immediate danger signal for pitchers who have been injured several times in the last 21 months and haven’t started the major leagues for more than a year.

Mets played DeGrom’s shoulder pain in the same way he played DeGrom’s slow rehab process. Ace attended this spring training and looked slimmer and stronger than ever, but stopped his throw after playing twice in the Grapefruit League.

Since then, his return has been a moving goal. He will start his last rehab next week and should be ready to rejoin the rotation afterwards. But every time he takes the mound (what if?), His longevity will be a concern for Mets. That’s why we can’t afford to start pitchers by next week’s trading deadline.

“He’s not our savior,” Francisco Lindor told DeGrom on Saturday. “Yes, he’s going to win the game for us, and we’re looking forward to it, but we’re going to” we’re going to watch, and you’re going to make us the promised land I’m going to take you. “It’s unfair. He is already well-equipped to stay healthy, perform well, and try to do his best to win. It is unfair for us to give him all the weight. .. “

Reds’ right-handed Luis Castillo is perfect for rotation and clubhouses, the latter being a very important cultural building area for Mets. The 2022 All-Star Castillo owns 2.77 ERA and 1.077 WHIP with 13 starts and 78 innings.

However, the Castillo competition is reported to include the Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros. For Mets, a right-handed deal that will become a free agent in 2024 will probably have to move two top prospects, perhaps Brett Baty, the organization’s second prospect. Athletics Frankie Montas and pirate José Quintana could also be New York’s options.

Mets believes starting pitchers will cover them in the event of another DeGrom retreat. David Peterson and Tylor Megill are the main reasons why the team first enjoyed more than three months of driving. But it’s hard to imagine the Mets doing a postseason deGrom in the current rotation without deGrom, where the durability of baseball in October remains unclear.

Max Scherzer will be 38 this week, but Taijuan Walker needs to prove that the consistency of the first half can lead to the success of the second half. Chris Bassitt goes up and down, and Carlos Carrasco opposes a powerful lineup of enemies.

For now, it’s no exaggeration to say that it’s a long shot that DeGrom can complete 12 starts for the rest of the regular season. At this point, Mets proved that he could play winning baseball without him. But is his health the difference between an NL pennant and an early exit, or can Mets prevent his potential absence by exchanging for a starter?

Will Mets beat the NL East?

Ben Verlander cites three reasons why he believes the New York Mets will win the National League East. It’s pitching staff, a simple schedule, and depth.

“We have great respect for Jake and what he can do,” said Shaw Alter. “But we can’t really operate like this [we’re waiting for him to return].. Because, no matter who it is, the promise may never appear. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. And what do you do? “

3. Soto Sweepstakes

The Nationals are interested in the cross-generational star Juan Soto from many teams, including the Yankees. Does Mets need to be one of them?

As argued, Mets needs an aggressive boost, and 23-year-old Soto will ensure elite production for years to come. But they will have to give up the farm to get him.

Mets’ rebuilding farm system is area owner Steve Cohen, who is already working on improvements at his introductory press conference in November 2020. Trade-offing a small number of top prospects in addition to major leaguers with minimal service time completely denies Cohen’s statement.

“I love playing Mets in New York,” Soto said in an All-Star game. “I hit the ball far away. Looking at my numbers in the field, it’s amazing.”

Is Juan Soto traded by Washington Nationals?

Is Juan Soto traded by Washington Nationals?

Ben Verlander is discussing Juan Soto’s refusal to offer the Nationals and what it means to move forward. Will he be traded? Where are the possible destinations?

If Mets goes to Soto, he would have to start from scratch, and Cohen wants to create a Dodgers-like organization. And win every year. Again, Soto is one of the few exceptions worth carrying that type of prospect.

Still, it may be wise to wait until Mets continues to build the system and become a free agent years after Soto becomes able to use Cohen’s wallet, his greatest asset.

Deesha Thosar is an MLB writer for FOX Sports. She previously featured Mets as a beat reporter for the New York Daily News for three and a half years. The daughter of an Indian immigrant, Disha, grew up on Long Island and now lives in Queens. She never misses a Rafael Nadal match, regardless of the country or time zone he is playing in (sleep can always be sacrificed for sports). Follow her on @ on her TwitterDeesha Thosar..

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