I wouldn’t wish a trade to the Mets on my worst enemy, so writing these pieces about their interest in Kris Bryant makes me physically ill. The good news is that the Mets team physician checked me out and said I’m actually fine. The bad news is that second opinions are flying in from all manner of New York outlets in what almost looks like a concerted attempt to drum up something positive to write about.
Francisco Lindor is out indefinitely with an oblique strain, something that could have the Mets looking at Javy Báez for shortstop help, and now Jacob deGrom is on the IL with forearm tightness. If that latter issue is serious, it could be a precursor of bigger elbow issues and should probably cool the Mets’ jets when it comes to big moves for temporary additions.
However, a new owner in Flushing who’s flush with cash might not be content to watch the season fizzle.
Let’s play GM again. Make a trade now and pay a big price or wait until closer to the deadline and pay a reasonable price ?
— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) July 20, 2021
That’s why the Mets remain at the forefront of any Bryant rumors, with FanNation’s Pat Ragazzo adding a degree of specificity to the speculation.
“On the offensive end, if they are able to acquire Bryant from the Cubs, it won’t be in exchange for top prospects Francisco Alvarez or Brett Baty, given the fact that Bryant is a rental player,” Ragazzo wrote. “However, shortstop prospect Ronny Mauricio, or Double-A third baseman Mark Vientos, who is having a career year for Binghamton, could potentially be in the cards, as trade chips.”
It’s important to note here that the only definitive statement came in regards to which players the Mets would not include. The whole “could potentially” thing muddies the waters and turns the whole deal into little more than educated guesswork, though the names mentioned here do make sense in terms of the Mets’ system and what the Cubs would want in return.
Astute prospectniks gushed over the inclusion of Vientos in this latest rumor because he won’t turn 22 until December and he’s breaking out at Double-A. The rising strikeout numbers and lack of elite on-base skills are a little worrisome, but the power is showing up and Vientos still has time to grow into what is currently a 6-foot-4, 185-pound frame.
Mauricio just turned 20 in April and is ranked as the Mets’ No. 2 overall prospect, though that could change if his production at the plate remains disappointing at High-A. He does have 10 homers, however, and he’s got even more room to fill out than Vientos. Mauricio is listed at just 166 pounds despite standing 6-foot-3, so we’re talking about a ton of physical projection.
Another possibility is 20-year-old righty Matt Allan, who has been mentioned in previous Cubs-related rumors and is out this season due to elbow reconstruction. He’s a little bit of a longer play due to his age and rehab process, but we know the Cubs have gotten more aggressive in their pitching development and they may have a longer competitive timeline in mind.
Speaking objectively and removing my very obvious bias, getting a top-10 organizational prospect — and maybe more — in return for two months of Bryant’s services would be a coup. Again, I want to make it exceedingly clear that I’m not advocating a trade. But if the Cubs are absolutely not going to work out an extension and they know they’re not winning the Central, it feels irresponsible not to take advantage of the growing desperation in Queens.
Now watch them work out a deal for three dudes no one has even thought about.