SNY's Andy Martino recently said Zack Wheeler, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Jeurys Familia are the most likely players to be traded by the Mets before the end of this month.
Teams will almost certainly also have interest in acquiring Jerry Blevins, but that is more likely to happen through waivers during August.
Initially, I thought Todd Frazier and Anthony Swarzak would be attractive through waivers as well, but I'm starting to think they stay put because the Mets will seemingly attempt to contend in 2019.
In listening to insiders talk about the overall market, my hunch is the Red Sox, Brewers, and Indians will be most aggressive in trading for Familia.
The market for Wheeler is more difficult to figure out, especially if the Cardinals decide to move Carlos Martinez. In addition to Wheeler, teams looking for a mid-rotation starting pitcher are also looking in to Tyson Ross and Clayton Richard (Padres), Ivan Nova (Pirates), Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ (Blue Jays), and Mike Minor (Rangers).
In terms of what the Mets are offering, Wheeler will net the best return, which is expected to still be something like a so-so, big-league player and/or up to two of that team's Top 15-30 prospects (who are not overall Top 100 guys).
The rumors about paying or trading Jacob deGrom have only just begun...
To get the Mets to consider trading deGrom this summer, teams are under the impression talks need to start with their top, young position player under contract for multiple seasons. For instance, the Dodgers would need to part with Alex Verdugo, the Yankees would need to trade Gleybor Torres, and the Red Sox would have to include Andrew Benintendi.
Otherwise, league insiders believe the Mets will push to sign deGrom to a contract extension. If contract negotiations hit a wall and nothing is done by late November, though, expect to hear more deGrom trade rumors and prepare for him to actually be dealt this winter.
Last month, people who know deGrom told me they believe he should not sign a contract extension and instead take his shot at a long-term deal in 2020, when he'll be 32 years old.
Why? If he signs an extension of five or fewer years it will mean he'll next be a free agent when 35 years old, at which time he'd be unlikely to get another lucrative long-term deal.
On the other hand, if he can get more than five seasons out of an extension today, the deal is likely to pay him significantly more in its final years than he'd get for those same seasons as a free agent in five years.
To me, the math continues to indicate he'll want at least a seven-year extension, which would keep him under contract through his 37th birthday. Otherwise, his agent might continue to push for a trade, after which they'll roll the dice on hitting free agency after the 2020 season, when Jake will be 32 years old.
It was fun watching them struggle, but the Phillies are back in business...
If there is one thing I have repeatedly heard from people that have dealt with the Phillies during the past few weeks, it's that Philadelphia is ready to again dominate the NL East.
According to people aware of their situation, the team's principal owner, John S. Middleton, has spent the last few years eager to begin spending more money on superstar talent. The Eagles winning the Super Bowl only fueled his desire put the Phillies back on the map.
Prior to 2014, Middleton was simply a minority partner with a 14 percent stake in the team. However, after selling his family's cigar business and increasing his ownership position to 48 percent, he was named the organization's principal and controlling owner.
From 2007 through 2011, the Phillies won the NL East five times, won one World Championship and played in two World Series. During the six years after, they underwent a slow and arduous rebuild, bidding goodbye to fan favorites, trading veterans for prospects, cutting payroll and never finishing above .500.
This year, thanks in large part to homegrown talent and Middleton giving his front office the green light to spend on RHP Jake Arrieta and 1B Carlos Santana, the Phillies are back atop the division. To keep wind in their sails, the Phillies are rumored to be working on more additions to this year's roster, including making a run at O's 3B Manny Machado, who is reportedly close to being dealt to the Dodgers.
"If we don't get Machado this summer, Middleton's going to be disappointed and I bet he pushes that much harder to sign him this winter," a current Phillies source predicted last week.
In either case, Middleton's directive to his front office, according to several MLB executives, is to spend big money next winter (be it Machado and/or Bryce Harper), build off their success this season and around the current roster and return to consistently being the best team in NL East.
The new ask...
The days of trading three or four guys for three or four guys are gone. Now, active teams are pushing for quality of talent -- not quantity. Furthermore, fewer teams are asking for 'high-ceiling guys,' instead wanting prospects that are accurately rated or underrated.
This request is a direct result of teams expanding and restructuring their scouting departments to include guys that know as much about analytics as they do about using traditional, eye-test evaluations.
Any time a team is struggling, fans blame that franchise's ownership for meddling. The same Yankee fans that praised George Steinbrenner in the 1990s were the same people who said he was too involved during the 1980s. Same man, same approach.
Similarly, the idea that Mets ownership is too involved disappeared when they were standing with Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins hoisting the National League Championship trophy in 2015. Not surprisingly, this talking point has returned in the midst of back-to-back losing seasons.
That said, a survey of multiple MLB insiders all told me that principal owners for the Orioles, Angels, Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox, and Marlins are equally or more involved in their on-field product as the Mets.
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. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!