The New York Mets have become one of the surprise teams of baseball this season. They currently are tied for first place in the NL East with the Washington Nationals with a solid 31-28 record. However, the Mets are currently scuffling as they have lost six of their last ten games. They just got no-hit by the San Francisco Giants last night and their scuffling offense is becoming more of an issue for them. That’s why they appear to be looking to trade one of their veteran starting pitchers in “short order” as reported by baseball columnist David Lennon of Newsday.
The two veteran pitchers who are most likely to be moved are right-hander Dillon Gee and left-hander Jon Niese. Both are veteran pitchers with years of control ahead of them although Niese is under guaranteed club control through the 2018 season due to a pair of club options while Gee is under club control through only the 2016 season and can hit free agency in 2017. The lefty Niese is pitching a mediocre 4.43 ERA across 63 innings of work through 11 starts while the righty Gee is pitching a bloated 4.50 ERA across 36 innings of work through six starts. Gee recently was made redundant and moved to the bullpen to make room for top prospect Noah Syndergaard in the rotation. His displeasure of being moved to the bullpen has become public knowledge which might make him the more likely person to be dealt although Niese’s additional years of club control is quite enticing to a contending club that needs a veteran to stabilize the back-end of their rotation.
The reason that one of these veterans are going to be dealt is that another young pitcher is going to be called up to join the rotation. Left-handed pitching prospect Steven Matz is currently waiting in the wings at AAA and is lighting it up down there. He is pitching to a sizzling 1.94 ERA across 74.1 innings of work along with a 9.1 SO/9 ratio. His starts are being wasted at AAA but there is no room to promote him currently with the club carrying both Niese and Gee on the roster.
Despite their struggles so far this season, they still hold some trade value. Any team can use a veteran to fill out its rotation and bolster their chances of a postseason berth. While the Mets have more than enough pitching on their hands, they have virtually no offense right now. Some of their top hitters such David Wright or Daniel Murphy are currently sidelined on the DL and are not expected back any time soon. They need offense badly and are prepared to dangle their veteran pitchers in order to acquire a versatile bat in their lineup that can also make an impact. Some of the teams who may make sense as a potential trade partner include the Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays. The Mets actually have a chance to compete this season and are willing to make a big trade to bolster their offense and chances at the postseason.