A little something for your Sunday night musing – the Mets, it seems, really are considering offers for their big-time starting pitchers, but pulling off a deal will be difficult.
Mets are engaging teams on their aces (in case) but since they seek major league talent back for deGrom or Syndergaard, they see wintertime as a better opportunity to deal an ace. Contenders loathe to subtract from teams in a pennant race.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 22, 2018
Jacob deGrom has been the name speculatively connected to the Cubs, and, indeed, any remotely plausible offer coming from the Cubs would have to include a big league piece or two or three.
As Heyman says, and I agree with the concern, it’s very difficult for a contender to blow up their roster in the middle of a competitive season, even where they have some redundancy, as the Cubs do on the positional side. Even if the Mets were interested in – for example – Addison Russell as a center piece, you’re talking about intentionally creating a situation where you’re one Javy Baez injury away from a black hole at shortstop heading into the postseason. And not the good kind of black hole that sucks up all the ground balls. The bad kind of black hole that sucks up all your hope.
Again, that presumes the Mets would even want as a center piece a guy with only a few years of team control left (and at arbitration prices). It’s more likely that they’d be asking about Javy Baez and Willson Contreras, which would rightly be non-starters. Maybe they’d see the unique value in Ian Happ (I certainly do), but does a Happ+Montgomery+prospects package even surpass the many, many other offers the Mets would undoubtedly receive?
Still, yes, I do think the Cubs have to be in on these conversations while the Mets are considering moving these caliber of pitchers. The Cubs are going to need to seriously look at adding a starting pitcher at this deadline, and, although there are several attractive rental options (J.A. Happ and Nathan Eovaldi, for example), there isn’t anyone who could so dramatically impact the Cubs’ chance of succeeding in the postseason in the way a deGrom or Syndergaard could.