As the MLB trade deadline nears closer by the day, the Mets are among current contenders at the top of their division potentially looking to improve their roster. Even one addition could help push the team over the edge and create a fortified roster for the postseason.
These contenders look for roster upgrades on teams that aren’t contending, and right now, teams are looking at the Minnesota Twins and their ace, Jose Berrios, as someone that could be dealt.
New York was mentioned as a team that would have a “perfect” fit in their starting rotation by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The Mets’ staff is currently pitching well, but that includes David Peterson, who has been inconsistent this season though he’s on an upward trend, and now Tylor Megill, who has just two starts in the bigs that have been promising.
With Carlos Carrasco looking like maybe late July for a return, and team president Sandy Alderson saying Noah Syndergaard has as Sept. 1 potential return date, it would be justified for the Mets to make a move to upgrade now instead of waiting until later for results that might not be there come October (if they do in fact win the division or earn a Wild Card spot). We also know Alderson is one to be aggressive when his team is a contender (Yoenis Cespedes circa 2015), too.
But there’s a conundrum the Mets could be contemplating as we speak: Is it worth trading for someone like Berrios, who should be the best pitcher on the trade market if made available?
At 27 years old and pitching his best MLB season, Berrios will require a haul to pry him away from Minnesota. He owns a 3.41 ERA and 3.39 FIP, both current career-highs, over 89.2 innings. He’s everything the Mets would want: Young, provides quality innings deep into games, and has playoff experience under his belt.
Berrios is also arbitration eligible through the 2022 season before hitting unrestricted free agency in 2023. One would expect this move to be like that of Francisco Lindor – trading for a high-profile player that is about to hit free agency with the thought of extending him later on.
What would that trade package be, though? Something like this might work:
While it isn’t an established pitcher for the Twins to work with, three prospects in the Top 20 with tremendous upside could do the trick. Mauricio, especially, has been a name Mets fans know due to him being the No. 1 overall prospect at a time before C Francisco Alvarez joined the party. With Lindor locked in for years to come, Mauricio could be considered expendable.
Then again, three prospects in the Top 20 is a hefty package to send for any organization. And what if the Mets can’t sign Berrios long-term after the 2022 season?
If it was up to this writer, the answer would be yes on dealing that package for Berrios. For one, deGrom is having an unfathomable season, and any potential postseason series is advantageous for the Mets because he’s simply in the rotation for at least two of those games if healthy. Having more firepower behind him with Berrios and Stroman – who knows what Syndergaard or Carrasco will be able to give them when they possible return? – would do the Mets well.
Also, there is the offensive woes for the Mets. They could turn things around, but if that’s their identity for the rest of the year and they still earn a playoff berth, then pitching will become even more important.
Finally, this should be considered a championship window for New York because of the young talent they currently possess, the depth they have on the roster, and again, having the best pitcher in baseball on their side.
Owner Steve Cohen has also proved he can sign a top talent as well, so locking in Berrios, another young cornerstone-type piece, by selling New York and the Mets shouldn’t be an issue for him.
At the end of the day, it will be up to the Mets to measure the cost and reward if Berrios does indeed hit the trade market. And if they agree it’s a good deal, competition from other organization is sure to follow.