The Mets appear most willing to deal Wilmer Flores, Brandon Nimmo, Kevin Plawecki, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Rafael Montero, Dominic Smith, and most of their top prospects, according to what MLB insiders told me at the end of the GM Meetings.
However, though they may all have "value," SNY contributor Andy Martino wrote earlier this week that the Mets remain reluctant to move most of the above names.
According to multiple reports, Sandy Alderson is aiming to add a new second baseman, back-end reliever, a first baseman that can play outfield, and possibly, a reliable veteran starting pitcher. However, he may have only $30-40 million to spend on acquisitions, which would mean possibly dealing big-league talent to fill a need and/or free up money to spend on free agents.
"There is an assumption on the part of most clubs that we are not going to trade Jacob deGrom or a Noah Syndergaard," Alderson added during a talk with reporters this week at the GM Meetings.
"On the other hand," he continued, "We do have a number of young guys who haven't exactly dominated on the major league level, but who have demonstrated some ability and potential for growth and so I think that interest is roughly as strong as it was last year. I don't think anybody has done anything to grossly diminish their value."
The Mets reportedly saw significant interest in Gsellman last winter, and considered dealing Nimmo the previous summer in talks for Jay Bruce. In both instances, Gsellman and Nimmo were not dealt, remained with the team, and rotated between Triple-A and the Mets during 2017.
I still believe that if the Mets make a trade, it will be to acquire a second baseman since that appears to be a position of need with more supply than demand. Plus, if the Mets can't find a way to trade for Dee Gordon (Marlins), Brian Dozier (Twins), Jason Kipnis (Indians), or Ian Kinsler (Tigers), they can turn to the free-agent market and go after Howie Kendrick, Neil Walker, or Eduardo Nunez.
The point is, the Mets have options, especially since their only real competition in that market appears to be the Brewers, Blue Jays, and Angels. The Rays and Dodgers are reportedly considering whether to acquire a second baseman as well, but it's low on their priority list because they can lean on internal options.
I don't doubt that the Mets would give up on Gsellman, especially after his public back-and-forth with Alderson. I think it's a mistake because he still has enormous value to the Mets as a pitcher -- not just as trade bait. But, I also realize to get an every day player from a win-now team like the Indians or Twins, it will mean giving up more than just mid-level prospects.
In either case, it would be foolish to deal Gsellman before signing a free-agent starting pitcher.
This is why I still see Alderson first signing a free-agent first baseman that can play right field, after which he'll move on a starting pitcher. Then, once those two spots are in order, his staff can deal for a second baseman because they'll have a better feel for what they can part with in trade. I expect signing a free-agent reliever to be the last action because it is for every team during every winter.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...