The lead up to the trade deadline has a tendency to become a real-life version of pin the tail on the donkey.
Fans (the blindfolded ones in this metaphor) try to stick their favorite team’s hat on any and every player who might be available, evidence and logic be damned. While a quick glance at the list of upcoming free agents is easy to narrow down the field, each deadline trade is not created equally. For some teams, a rental for a specific player or an upgrade at a certain position make the most sense. The fearless reliever that can handle a big seventh inning in the postseason can be just as instrumental to a title run as the All-Star hitter who came over in the same trade.
Until deadline day comes on July 30, the rumor mill will churn out name after name, desperately trying to connect them with a needy team. In trying to prognosticate the trade deadline though, one must always remember the golden question. Does this hypothetical deal actually make any sense?
With the big day just over a week away, let’s explore the efficacy of some prominent rumors.
Kris Bryant to the Mets
It’s been a dream scenario for the Mets’ faithful. A somewhat disgruntled star whose days are numbered with his current team, Bryant fits the mold of midseason trade pickup that pushes the team over the NL East finish line and perhaps further, a la Yoenis Cespedes.
The Mets may have to break a few eggs if they want to make this omelette. Whether that means going over the luxury tax, trading J.D. Davis to make room for Bryant at third base and on the payroll, or parting ways with one of their top-rated prospects, it’s a move that owner Steve Cohen and the Mets need to at least seriously consider.
Bryant is due for free agency after the World Series. It’s unclear whether he’d have any interest in signing with the Mets long term, and he’ll undoubtedly keep his options open while being courted this winter, but a deep postseason run in front of a New York audience could do wonders for convincing Bryant to remain in blue and orange.
One thing is clear, though, and that’s that the Cubs are looking to sell. Joc Pederson was the first domino, and they’re not going to stop there. If the Mets can come up with a good enough package, getting Bryant and right-handed starter Zach Davies from Chicago would make a lot of sense for this good but not great roster.