Mets Looking to Make Big Trades Soon

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The Mets are off to a great start in 2022, already out to an eight-game lead in the National League East. However, any devoted fan knows that a hot start is not predictive of season-long success. Even with their success, some cracks have shown, namely the thin bullpen depth and suddenly injury-riddling pitching staff. In addition, despite offensive success, the Mets have been unable to find a useful designated hitter, with Robinson Cano, Dom Smith, and J.D. Davis all struggling when given an opportunity.

Given the Mets’ activity last deadline and owner Steve Cohen’s prolific spending over the offseason, the front office should be quite active come late July. Assuming the Mets can hold their ground for the next two months, they could benefit from upgrades to all facets of the roster.

Starting Pitching

This is perhaps the most difficult part of the roster to project. Should Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer get healthy, the Mets will have the best rotation in the league, and it may not be particularly close. However, if either experiences a significant setback the team could need additional depth at the deadline. Both are currently set for an approximately early July return, so the front office should certainly have a resolution on this issue once the trade market heats up.

Early indications are that there should be a few top names available, namely the Athletics’ Frankie Montas and the Reds’ Luis Castillo. That being said, it is unlikely the team would shell out for a new top starter unless both deGrom and Scherzer suffer significant setbacks. In terms of depth options, two early possibilities are the Cubs’ Wade Miley and the Royals’ Zack Greinke. Miley has a much higher ceiling, and could add a high-end lefty to the rotation. Greinke, on the other hand, would be a lesser piece but could stabilize the rotation similarly to the role Rich Hill served last year.

Relief Pitching

In contrast to starters, the Mets will almost certainly be in need of relief help for the back half of the season. At current, the Mets high-leverage relievers are limited to Edwin Diaz, Drew Smith, Seth Lugo, and Adam Ottavino, but even Lugo and Ottavino have had early-season struggles. On the lesser side, Joely Rodriguez and Chasen Shreve have shown some potential as well. Trevor May has been sidelined until July or August and was also shaky in limited appearances.

With several spots to be filled, the Mets may be best served taking a page out of the 2021 Blue Jays book, who acquired four relievers before the deadline last year. Rental relievers can generally be had for a very low cost at the deadline, and this should be a primary focus for Billy Eppler and co. The Pirates, Royals, and Reds all have a number of young, controllable bullpen arms that could help the Mets mitigate the impending free agency of Diaz, May, Lugo, and Ottavino as well.

Position Players

The 2022 Mets offense has undoubtedly been good so far, albeit still with room for improvement. One of the biggest holes in the lineup has been the DH spot, with prime candidates J.D. Davis and Dom Smith posting an OPS of .663 and .520 respectively. Heading into the season, it seemed like a good bet that one of Smith, Davis, or Robinson Cano would run with the opportunity, but so far all three have fallen flat. The upside for the Mets here is that, should they choose to upgrade here, they can essentially have their pick of available bats and slot whomever they want into the DH position.

In particular, the team could use a left-handed power bat, as the only pure lefties in the lineup are Nimmo and McNeil, neither of whom is a significant home run threat. One early possibility here is the Nationals’ Josh Bell, who appears to have returned to form this year and would be well served as a full-time DH.

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David Murtha is an MLB writer covering the New York Mets as well as general baseball news. He is a lifelong Mets fan born and raised in Queens. He is also currently a student at Stony Brook University studying biology, and has previously written for other online publications.