Andy Martino | NY Daily News- Trade Niese? He has no value!” The arguments against Niese were plentiful. Variations in his arm angle led scouts to conclude that he has shoulder problems. Even the team-friendly contract, which Mets people continue to insist carries value, led one rival executive to huff, “It’s not a good contract if he’s on the DL.” In checking back with several of the evaluators, it was clear that even six consecutive quality starts was not enough to significantly impact value. Folks were impressed that Niese had pitched well against quality teams like the Blue Jays, Cubs and Giants, but noted that good general managers are rarely swayed by a hot streak.
(Chris Soto: The argument against Niese's trade value has never been his performance...it's always been that questionable shoulder of his. However, Niese continues to be insistent that his shoulder is in the best condition in years. Quite frankly Niese has been pretty solid all year long. Before he hit his wrong 4 game stretch in late May, Niese was carrying a 1.95 ERA. After pushing through the rough patch, he's posted a 2.41 ERA through these last 6 games. He's a good pitcher folks.)
Adam Rubin | ESPN New York- New York Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud continues to wear a brace for a left elbow sprain and is not particularly close to being able to shed it and begin baseball activity, manager Terry Collins said Tuesday. D’Arnaud suffered the injury applying a tag at the plate on A.J. Pierzynski in Atlanta on June 20. Initially, he was forecast to miss only the minimum 15 days on the disabled list.
(Chris Soto: These continued "opponent inflicted" injuries are just maddening for Travis d'Arnaud. He's a healthy individual and he has no nagging body injuries that result in needing time. All these injuries he keeps sustaining are crazy unlucky instances. The worst part is that when he's healthy, he's the Mets best hitter and the club needs him back so badly right now. Look for d'Arnaud to make a possible return after the All-Star break.)
Kevin Kiernan | New York Post- The wait for Mets fans has been excruciating. Yes, they are going to have to be patient a little longer before the Mets even get in the market for a deal, mostly because the market is still in flux. Forget about any of the Mets big four/core of young starting pitchers being traded for anyone. Wisely, that is not happening. The Mets want to upgrade up the middle, because Ruben Tejada is best as a backup. Nothing will begin to take shape until after the All-Star Game, according to a survey of general managers and assistant GMs on Tuesday.
(Chris Soto: It's so easy to get upset with Alderson over the lack of inactivity so far this season to help bring in some offensive help for the team...but just look around the league. No one is making trades! The only significant bat that has been traded so far has been Mark Trumbo, and he makes Lucas Duda look like a Gold Glover in the OF. That said, the rumor mills have been heating up over the past few days and talks should begin to get heavy over the next few as GM start determining whether or not their clubs have legitimate shots at competing in 2015.)
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.
Philadelphia Phillies (29-57): Re-build Mode
- The Philadelphia Phillies are clearly the worst team in baseball and many evaluators have them pegged as the worst run club in the MLB right now. In regards to them being trade partners, Phillies honestly don't have many assets to sell that can help improve their club in the long-term. If your talking to the Phillies, your talking either Cole Hamels or Jonathan Papelbon. Neither of which is a need or a desire for the Mets right now.
Miami Marlins (35-49): Should be in Re-Tool Mode....but ya never know with Loria
- The National League's most disappointing team is in an absolute freefall. Young OF'ers Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich have succumbed to sabermetrically predicted regressions, Giancarlo Stanton is on the DL with a wrist fracture, and the rotation was horrid all year until Latos and Fernandez returned recently. They now find themselves 11+ games out of playoff contention and wondering what their irrational owner Jeffrey Loria may do. The club's most attractive trade pieces are the recently resurgent Latos and the utility IF Martin Prado. However, Latos has been battling injuries the past 2 years and Prado is currently on the DL. Prado could be of particular interest to the Mets since he is under team control through 2016. However, he may not represent a significant enough upgrade offensively. The acquisition cost should not be that much.
- Trade Proposal: Mets send OF/1B Travis Taijeron for IF Martin Prado
- Reason: The Marlins have a solid core of players and could attempt to compete again next season. One area of concern for them is the hole left behind by Marcell Ozuna's terrible play. Taijeron could provide them a solid bat there or slide into 1B where the Marlins have no significant prospects in sight.
- Much like the Marlins, the Brew Crew has a solid core of guys that they could just re-tool around if they want to make a run in 2016. Only problem is, the Pirates, Cubs, and Cardinals are all younger and MORE talented then them now, and in the future, making it tough for them to compete in the NL Central or even the Wild Card for the next few years. It makes a ton of sense for them to burn the house down and starting building up for 2017 and beyond. Only Ryan Braun is on the payroll past 2016, so everyone is a possible trade target. The most interesting names are Carlos Gomez, Gerardo Parra, and Aramis Ramirez. If the Mets want to go the safe route low cost route, you can go out and grab either Parra or Ramirez. However, if you want a high impact bat that can pole vault you into playoff contention, you have to try and get Gomez.
- Trade Proposal: Mets send RHP Zack Wheeler, SS Milton Ramos, and OF Champ Stuart for CF Carlos Gomez
- Reason: The Brewers have no pitching prospects in sight and if they are gonna burn the house down, they are gonna be building for 2017, not 2016. The Mets are unwilling to part with the Big 4 but 1 name that still carries value is Zack Wheeler. With a pre-TJS K rate over 9 per 9 IP, he's better than anything the Brewers have right NOW. He's under team control thru 2019 and has front line capable stuff that the Brewers can build around. Ramos is a strong SS prospect that they can move to 3B if Segura sticks around, or keep at SS as Segura's eventual replacement, and Stuart is a super speedster that could provide the Brewers with a future 40 SB lead-off hitter with excellent defense in CF.