Mets GM Zack Scott says he is on the phone all day. Sources tell us the Yankees have been poking around for marginal outfield upgrades.
Given that it’s not even Memorial Day — in other words, more than two months before the trade deadline — what can these teams and their GMs realistically accomplish?
“Not really the time to easily fix anything,” one MLB general manager said on Tuesday afternoon.
We’ll start with the Mets, because their situation is far more urgent. Due to a terrible run of injury luck, the depth underneath their depth is gone. They need warm bodies.
Let’s get the most appealing names out of the way. League sources say that Chicago’s Kris Bryant, Arizona’s Ketel Marte and Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins are not currently available. Mullins is pre-arbitration eligible and a budding star. If the other two are traded, it won’t likely be for a while.
One league source did say that the Seattle Mariners are “open for business.”
For the Mets, the most obvious fit is probably Kyle Seager, who can push J.D. Davis from third base to left field once Davis returns from the injured list. It’s unclear if the Mariners will move outfielder Mitch Haniger.
One intriguing option who might be available from Baltimore this summer is Trey Mancini, a free agent after next season. Mancini can play left field.
Also, with Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker and Jordan Yamamoto out, it’s worth noting that Matt Harvey’s 4.26 FIP (fielding independent pitching) is far better than his 6.31 ERA. He’s acceptable rotation depth.
Name players and fun speculation aside, the Mets’ pro scouting department is most likely to continue looking for Cameron Maybin-type acquisitions — in other words, scouring Triple-A rosters and the waiver wire for players who might be able to offer a short-term band-aid. Dee Strange-Gordon, anyone?
As for the Yankees, with Aaron Hicks out for an extended period and Clint Frazier down much of last week with a neck issue, the team had been looking for stopgap options like Delino DeShields Jr.
Frazier’s productive return on Sunday seemed to lower the temperature on those pursuits. The Yankees aren’t in the mode of seeking to trade valuable assets. They might need to solve center field, but seem content for now to see how it plays out with Brett Gardner.
Because the Yankees were getting the bulk of their offensive production from other positions even before Hicks’ injury, they can ride with Gardner for a while. Perhaps prospect Estevan Florial will be ready later this year to survive offensively in the big leagues and catch the ball in center.
Don’t hold your breath on Mancini becoming a Yankee, either. There has long been a quiet freeze between the clubs in which Baltimore is perceived to ask for more from a division rival than other teams. The 2018 Zack Britton trade was the exception, not the rule.