Insider Floats Mets' Trading Struggling Former Top Prospect at Deadline (2024)

The New York Mets have one primary goal at the trade deadline: improving the bullpen.

Despite sporting a middling 44-45 record, New York is well within striking distance of a Wild Card spot as they trail the San Diego Padres by just 2.5 games for the last Wild Card. With three Wild Card teams advancing to the World Series since the expansion of the playoffs in 2022, the Mets have as good of a chance as anybody if they can make the dance.

The Mets are expected to be buyers at the deadline, and will primarily look for relievers due to already having a potent lineup and expecting a major rotation upgrade (Kodai Senga) after the All-Star break. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, a great team for the Mets to look at for bullpen arms are the Detroit Tigers, who have left-hander Andrew Chafin and righty Shelby Miller, among others.

"Lefty Andrew Chafin and righty Shelby Miller each have options unlikely to be picked up for next season, so the veterans would seem primed to be moved," Sherman wrote. "This is nothing new for Chafin, who has been traded at the deadline in three of the past four years. His 28.4 percent strikeout rate and ability to really neutralize lefty hitters suggests he will be moved again.

"Miller had a 1.71 ERA last season for the Dodgers and a 5.76 mark so far for the Tigers," Sherman continued. "But I wonder if he is a case for picking someone based on track record given that his stuff is fairly the same — he has drastically cut his walk rate from last year while striking people out at roughly the same pace. He has been killed by bad home run results. Does a buyer believe that is luck and/or is fixable?"

Both Chafin and Miller would be legitimate upgrades for the Mets, especially since they'd be replacing some of the team's currently injured options. Chafin addresses New York's lack of effective left-handed relievers; ever since Brooks Raley underwent Tommy John surgery, the Mets' only lefty reliever on the active roster is the struggling Jake Diekman. As for Miller, he'd fill in for Drew Smith, who also went under the knife and is out for the season.

However, Sherman brought up a very familiar name for the Mets to offer to Detroit: infielder Brett Baty.

"[The Tigers] are desperate to add bats just about anywhere," Sherman wrote. "I played with the idea of a trade like Brett Baty for Jason Foley and Will Vest. I don’t think the Mets would consider it because while Baty has not shaken a groundball propensity when in the majors, he has continued to hit well at Triple-A, has begun to dabble with playing second base, and I think the organization has not given up faith that Baty will hit in the majors." For Post+, A deep dive into what kind of relievers the Mets/Yankees should be seeking and which teams might have a bunch of them to move. Also, Lindor v. José Ramírez for better career. Diekman's historic walk totals. Ex-Yankee catcher success.

— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 9, 2024

Baty was originally going to be the Mets' third baseman of the future, but he has struggled immensely in 169 major league games and has since been usurped by Mark Vientos. In 26 minor league games this year, he's hitting .294/.339/.560, which pales in comparison to the .298/.388/.625 slash line he had last year. With his decreased effectiveness in the minors this year along with his continued floundering in the majors, it might be time for a change of scenery.

Sherman mentioned Jason Foley and Will Vest as the return for Baty, but the Mets would prefer a return of Chafin and Miller due to their more established track records and their lingering faith in Baty. Regardless, both teams are desperate for things the other team currently has: Detroit has had one of the worst lineups in the majors for several years now, and they'd be willing to take any prospect that has offensive upside at this point. Likewise, with the Mets' bullpen decimated by injuries, they would love one of the Tigers' effective relief pitchers.

The Mets have done everything in their power to find a fit for Baty, but this could be a great opportunity for them to capitalize on his remaining value and alleviate their biggest weakness.

Insider Floats Mets' Trading Struggling Former Top Prospect at Deadline (2024)
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