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What will Mets and Yankees do at 2024 MLB trade deadline? Scouts and execs weigh in

June 25th, 2024

Three weeks ago, the trade deadline picture seemed to be clearly defined for the Mets and Yankees, as their seasons were steamrolling in opposite directions: the Mets would be holding a clearance sale, with many items priced to go, while the Yanks would be discerning buyers looking only to fine-tune a juggernaut.

Then, well, baseball happened: a reminder of how much can change through the ups and downs of a 162-game season.

And sure enough, as the teams come together this week for two Subway Series games at Citi Field, it appears that much has changed. The Mets’ stunning turnaround, contrasted to signs of vulnerability in the Bronx, makes the coming trade deadline a more fluid proposition on both sides of town.

Suddenly the Mets are more likely to be buyers than sellers, at least on a small scale, partly because of an offensive revival that has sparked a hot June, and partly because the watered-down state of the National League is likely to make one or even two Wild Card playoff berths very attainable.

For the Yankees, meanwhile, series losses to the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers have exposed cracks in the foundation that apparently will require more repair than expected in this all-in attempt to win a championship in 2024.

With the deadline still more than a month away there is always the chance for another notable shift in fortunes, especially for the Mets, but for now here is a look at the likely scenarios for both teams, based on conversations in recent days with major league scouts and executives.

METS

Evaluators I spoke to agreed that David Stearns is in a tricky spot, now that their improved play has put them in the thick of Wild Card contention, even as relatively low as that bar currently may be.

On one hand, with there likely to be so few true sellers around the majors, the Mets could maximize the return on several potential trade pieces in order to benefit their long-range plan. On the other hand, their offensive revival has dramatically changed the feel of their season.

“They’re not a great club,” one rival team exec said, “but when you look around the league, you can make the case they’re better than just about everybody in the Wild Card race other than Atlanta. That puts them in a position where they’d probably be looking to add, even if it’s in a minor way. Probably a reliever, like everybody else.”

Others made a similar case regarding the Mets’ status.

What will Mets and Yankees do at 2024 MLB trade deadline? Scouts and execs weigh in

“The bottom would have to fall out again for them again to be sellers,” one scout said. “They would have be eight or 10 under (.500) by the deadline and I don’t see that, especially with a soft schedule in July (18 games with the Nationals, Pirates, Rockies, and Marlins).

“If (Edwin) Diaz falls apart again anything is possible, because that’s where their season went off the rails for a while, but overall they were underachieving as a team so I’m not shocked they’ve gotten hot.

“The bats will probably level off a bit but this is closer to who they are than the way they played in May. You knew (Francisco) Lindor and (Pete) Alonso would hit at some point, and you knew J.D. Martinez would be impactful. Also, you can see (Francisco) Alvarez was missed. So if anything I’d call them bullpen buyers right now, just not to the point of giving up top prospects.”

In that case, the deadline could shape up as a quiet one for the Mets, considering that evaluators make the case the supply and demand of this trade market will require teams to pay a premium to acquire an available player, especially a top reliever.

And while they’ll be without Diaz in the coming days, after his sticky stuff ejection on Sunday night that carries with it a 10-game suspension, that would only affect their trade-deadline plans if it sends them into a tailspin.

“Even if they consider themselves contenders, they’re not going to shift gears and be in an extreme go-for-it mode,” said an evaluator who has familiarity with Stearns. “David is not going to stray from his long-term plan to chase a Wild Card spot, but I could see him trying to add at the margins.

“Actually, I’m really interested to see if he’s going to try and thread the needle and be a buyer and a seller. If (Kodai) Senga comes back he could have enough pitching depth to trade a starter, so I could see him doing that to take advantage of the lack of inventory on the market while still trying to improve his club by adding a reliever.”

To make such a move worthwhile, in terms of acquiring a top prospect, scouts and execs agreed that Luis Severino is probably the only starter with enough value to get it done. Of course, he’s also been the Mets’ best starter and trading him surely wouldn’t be well-received by the players.

“I don’t see David going down that road after he traded (Josh) Hader a couple of years ago in Milwaukee and it nearly caused a mutiny in his clubhouse,” said a rival exec. “Even if Senga is back you can’t tell your team you believe in them as a playoff contender (as Stearns has) and then trade your most dominant starter.

“I’m sure it would be tempting because his No. 1 goal is building something long-term, but you’re also trying to build a culture and that’s not the best way to go about it, especially in your first year on the job.

“So if he does try to trade a starter I think it would be a smaller move as part of a deal to acquire bullpen help. A left-hander like (David) Peterson might draw some interest. Otherwise I think it’s a case of him letting this team have its run and then re-evaluating again in the offseason, knowing some of your best prospects will be big league ready or close to it.

“Then again, if they’re still playing this way in a month, the re-evaluation might be that they have a chance to make some noise in October so you get more aggressive at the deadline than you ever would have thought. You never know until you get there.”

New York Mets pitcher Luis Severino (40) celebrates in the dugout with teammates after the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals ParkNew York Mets pitcher Luis Severino (40) celebrates in the dugout with teammates after the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park

New York Mets pitcher Luis Severino (40) celebrates in the dugout with teammates after the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park / Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports

YANKEES

For a team with the best record in the American League, the Yankees suddenly have multiple concerns that evaluators feel they need to address at the trade deadline, from the bullpen to catching to first or third base.

“The bullpen was the one area everyone knew they would need help, especially after (Jonathan) Loaisiga went down (with elbow surgery),” said one scout. “They needed more swing-and-miss, especially with a closer who’s not a high strikeout guy. And that was before (Clay) Holmes had a rough week.”

Indeed, the need to add a quality reliever has become more glaring after Holmes gave up nine hits and six runs over four appearances (before pitching Sunday) that included only two strikeouts.

And because of the need for a quality left-hander as well, there has been speculation the Yankees will trade for someone like Miami Marlins closer Tanner Scott or Chicago White Sox starter Garrett Crochet, a left-handed strikeout monster whose potential innings restrictions make him a candidate to be converted to a reliever.

“He’s the guy who could put a team like the Yankees over the top,” a second scout said. “But he’d cost you a lot.”

Surely it would be tantalizing for the Yankees to think about how Crochet could dominate as a reliever, considering he’s striking out 12.6 hitters per nine innings as a starter.

But do the Yankees have enough to get him? They traded a lot of pitching in the Juan Soto deal, and top pitching prospect Chase Hampton has yet to pitch this season while recovering from a shoulder injury. And because Crochet has two more years of control before reaching free agency, the price might be too high for the Yankees.

In any case, evaluators have no doubt Brian Cashman will add to the bullpen in one way or another.

Apr 13, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Clay Holmes (35) delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field.Apr 13, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Clay Holmes (35) delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field.

But due to concerns over Jose Trevino’s arm strength, after the Boston Red Sox ran wild on him last weekend, the Yankees may be in the market for a catcher.

And then there is the question of first and third base. They needed more offense from those spots, and now they’re without Anthony Rizzo for several weeks due to a fractured forearm.

The Yanks have time to evaluate rookie call-up Ben Rice, but on Sunday they also traded for ex-Met J.D. Davis, who had been DFA’d by the Oakland A’s last week.

If those additions don’t provide enough offensive help, Cashman likely will be looking to deal for a corner infielder, but scouts I spoke to made the point there aren’t any obvious moves that would be impactful due to the lack of teams that loom as sellers right now.

“They’ll have to hope a few more sellers emerge closer to the deadline,” one scout said. “The Marlins would gladly trade Josh Bell, but he’s having a bad year. There’s not much that’s appealing.”

A team exec agreed that Cashman’s priority will be added to the bullpen, but also thinks the GM will go the extra mile to acquire other impactful players.

“If they get a quality reliever, I think they’re good enough to win a championship,” the exec said. “And the add there might end up being (Luis) Gil, depending how his year goes. It helps that they’re also just now getting their ace (Gerrit Cole) back.

“But I’ll say this: I believe Cash sees this is as an all-in season, especially not knowing what Soto will do as a free agent. So I think he’ll be very aggressive in making moves to fill his needs.”

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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