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What Are The New York Mets Needs Heading Into Trade Deadline?

Baseball, MLB article at Knup Sports

The New York Mets have overcome adversity to lead the NL East near the midway point of the season. For the Mets to keep up their pace of around 100 wins, they need to bolster their roster before the Majors trade deadline.

The New York Mets are off to a great start to the 2022 MLB season despite not having their top two starting pitchers for much of the first half of the season. While the Mets (50-30) have stumbled lately, going 6-7 in their last 13 contests, they are still on pace to have one of the best seasons in their history. The Mets have posted 95 or more victories six times, topping the century mark three times.

It does appear that New York Mets will have competition for the NL East title, however, as they sit just three-and-one-half games ahead of second-place Atlanta. The Mets rank in the top 10 of the majors in offense though they have struggled against left-handers, ranking 16th in batting average and 19th in slugging percentage. They also rank in the top 12 of the league in ERA, WHIP, and BAA, but the bullpen has blown 11 saves.

Hitters Wanted – C, DH, PH

Despite New York Mets having decent offensive stats overall, their lineup has holes as six players are doing the heavy lifting. Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor, and Jeff McNeil have been raking all season long. However, the Mets could use help at catcher, designated hitter, and hitters off the bench.

Upgrades at Catcher and DH should be the Mets’ top priority as 3B Eduardo Escobar has started to swing the bat well. Escobar has registered three home runs along with seven RBI in July to give him four dingers in the past 15 days and six four-baggers over the last month. While Escobar is not a high batting average guy, he is a better hitter than his current average of .227 and should be good for around 20 homers this year.

New York’s three catchers are combining to hit .194 with just 11 extra-base hits and a .493 OPS, which ranks 29th in the league. Tomas Nido is the Mets’ best hitting catcher at .213, and he has only three hits over his last 25 at-bats.

Similarly, the Mets designated and pinch hitters have also struggled this year. The Mets DHs – Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis – ranks in the bottom two-thirds of the league in average and OPS while ranking in the top six in strikeouts with 90. Their pinch-hitters have been just as putrid, going 5-for-31 and ranking 28th in OPS.

Mets Could Improve Hitting By Promoting From With-in or Via Trade Market

New York Mets does have some in-house options to improve their hitting by promoting their top-prospect catcher Francisco Alvarez and versatile Mark Vientos. Alvarez has swung the bat well since joining the organization three seasons ago, producing a slash line of .277/.388/.554 at Double-A Binghamton. Calling up Alvarez seems unlikely as it could stunt the 20-year-old’s growth, and he is not ready defensively.

Adding Vientos or Brett Batty – both are top-5 prospects in the Mets’ system – seems like better options as both are versatile and a tad bit more seasoned. Vientos has demonstrated his power potential the last two years, including smashing 17 homers over 69 games with Triple-A Syracuse. Meanwhile, Batty has shown to be a higher-batting average hitter in the minor than Vientos though he doesn’t have the home run power as Vientos.

However, exploring the trade market seems to be the most likely outcome for the Mets, and there are plenty of options on the market. Impending 2023 free agents Josh Bell and Trey Mancini appear to be high on the team’s wish list. Wilson Contreras is a potential option to fill their massive void behind the plate.

Cry for Bullpen Help

Injuries have really taken a toll on the pitching staff, with starters Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Tylor Megill combining to make 17 starts. Still, the starting staff owns a 36-20 record though their ERA (4.09) is a little high, and the Mets have yet to toss a complete game. There is good news on the horizon, with Scherzer expected to be activated from the IL on Tuesday and deGrom having looked good in his Class A rehab start on Sunday night, striking out five of six batters he faced.

Not only will deGrom’s and Scherzer’s return help the rotation, but the bullpen should benefit as their return, just like when Chris Bassitt comes off the 15-day IL, as it will allow David Peterson and Trevor Williams to come on in relief. Peterson has pitched well this season, though Williams has been much better out of the pen. Closer Edwin Diaz has thrown the best he has in three seasons with the team and is on pace to produce the second-best season of his career.

New York Mets’s relief corp is 14-10 and ranks in the middle of the pack in ERA, WHIP, and BAA. The 11 blown saves are also a few too many, considering Diaz only has three of those. Some trade options include Scott Barlow, Daniel Bard, David Robertson, Mychal Givens, Michael Fulmer, Matt Moore, and Andrew Chafin.

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