Stephen Conway | Empire Writes Back- After going 2-2 and throwing out a runner at the plate in the MLB Futures Game, New York Mets star prospect Michael Conforto is opening up a lot of eyes around the league. The Seattle native looks poised to become an All-Star outfielder, but will New York bring him up this year? It is no secret that New York is in need of offensive help. If Sandy Alderson isn’t going to spend money before the trade deadline to acquire a bat, bringing up Conforto is the next best thing. He’s batting .330 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 37 games at Double-A Binghamton. Alderson has said that Conforto is the “best hitter in the organization,” and its about time the rest of the league knows that.
(Chris Soto: Empire Writes Back is a full New York sports blog on the FanSided platform so while it's not unusual to see Mets material on it front page, it's certainly a noteworthy one. As for the potential for a Conforto promotion, the supporters for the move are starting to scream louder and louder as he continues to do nothing but produce at A+ ball, AA ball, Futures Game ball, pretty much everywhere. Conforto himself is now even chiming in, making small, jabbing remarks expressing his desire to finally come to New York. Whether you agree with it or not....I have a strong feeling that Conforto could be in the MLB in a few weeks to help with the playoff push.)
Anthony DiComo | MLB Mets- Jason Kipnis described his introduction to Jacob deGrom as blunt-force trauma -- "heater, heater, heater, heater." But these were not ordinary heaters from the National League's reigning Rookie of the Year, who has somehow managed to improve as a sophomore. These were 97- and 98-mph fastballs in the NL's 6-3 All-Star Game loss to the American League. It wasn't all adrenaline, despite the nerves that creeped into deGrom's skull. This was premeditated -- a desire, with only one inning to give, to stride atop Great American Ball Park's pitcher's mound and "let it fly." "It was good morning, good afternoon, ball outside, goodnight," Kipnis said of his at-bat, the only one to last more than three pitches. "He's a power pitcher, a strong pitcher and a [darn] good one, and I got to see it tonight."
(Chris Soto: Man....deGrom ran rough shot through 3 of the best American League hitters in baseball. 10 pitches, 1 ball, 3 strikeouts. It doesn't get any better than that. deGrom has truly emerged as one of the Top 5 SP in the National League this season and could make a very strong case for a Cy Young award should Grienke and Scherzer falter at all during the second half of the season.)
Chris Soto | Trade Targets
Let's start taking a look at realistic trade targets that Sandy could possibly put together. We'll start in reverse standings order and climb the ladder a few teams at a time.
Atlanta Braves (42-47): In Re-build Mode, but at the end of it.
- The Atlanta Braves are near the end of what has to be the quickest rebuild mode ever conceived in baseball. After going 96 - 66 in 2013, the Braves fell apart in 2014 finishing under .500 at 79-83. This prompted GM John Hart to trade away valuable pieces such as Evan Gattis, Craig Kimbrel, David Hale, Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, and Jordan Walden. However, these players were not traded for regular prospects, Hart specifically targeted young MLB ready or near MLB ready talent that could make impacts in 2015 and 2016. Only a few months into their "rebuild" and the Braves already seem like they have a solid core of SP to try and compete next season. The offense still needs a little help, but with ~$50M to spend in Free Agency next year they can easily make upgrades. That said, the Braves may still look to grab a young bat to help speed that process along. However, the Mets will not be one of those sellers.
Boston Red Sox (42-47): Still an outside chance at AL East, could be Buyers
- The Red Sox had a very distinct strategy coming into 2015. Go after big bats that can produce a ton of runs to support a rotation that can grow in Boston. Only problem is that the rotation hasn't grown....in fact it has regressed. Statistically, the Red Sox rotation is the 3rd worst in the MLB this season in front of only the Phillies and the Coors affected Rockies rotations. However, despite the poor pitching, Boston only finds themselves 6.5 games out of 1st in the AL East where no one seems to be running away with the division. If they are serious about making a 2nd half surge, they are going to have to improve the rotation significantly. Alderson would love to get his hands on a guy like Brock Holt, but the Sox front office LOVES having his versatility on the team and are unlikely to trade him. Unless the Sox are willing to give up Bogaerts....which they won't....I don't see a fit here either.