Posted by Will Kay at 4:22 PM
The New York Mets recently announced the signing of Yoenis Cespedes to the highest contract in MLB history for an outfielder. While the move drastically improved New York's chances of competing in the NL East division this year, it left them with an abundance of outfielders on the roster right now. With five players capable of providing solid production as a starting outfield, it is time for the Mets to make a trade very soon.
The New York Mets seem to know that they have to make a trade before the season starts because they have been aggressively shopping outfielders Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson to other teams in the league. The Mets seem unwilling to trade Michael Conforto because of his huge upside. The team also loves the versatility and great defense of Juan Lagares. Trading either Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson should bring back one or two solid players that can help the team this year and in the future. A trade will also free up some money to help the team go sign a big free agent this offseason.
The biggest problem for the Mets is that every team in the league knows they desperately need to trade an outfielder before spring training. This simply gives New York very little leverage in the trade negotiations. The market for Bruce and Granderson may also pose a problem for the Mets. New York would prefer to trade Jay Bruce, but far more teams are showing an interest in Curtis Granderson than Bruce. If the Mets want to get a trade done soon, then they may be forced to lower their asking price on both players.
While any team in the need of an outfielder power hitting outfielder would be a good trade partner for the New York Mets, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are showing the most interest in Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson. Since closer Jeurys Familia is likely to be suspended for part of the 2017 season, the Mets are looking to get a solid reliever in any trade. The depth of their bullpen makes the Orioles a much better trade partner for the Mets than the Blue Jays.
The Mets will save at least $13 million by trading one of their extra outfielders. This payroll savings will allow the team to add even more depth to their weak bullpen. Adding two big names to the bullpen will put the Mets in great shape to compete for the National League pennant in 2017, but they must trade an outfielder before they can do anything else.
Since there are a lot of solid free agent outfielders on the market right now, the Mets may have to wait awhile to make a trade. The Orioles are not going to be willing to trade Brad Brach for Granderson if they think they can sign Mark Trumbo or Dexter Fowler. If a team fails to sign their desired outfielder and is left without any other options, then they will be much more willing to trade with the Mets.