I still can't find anyone in baseball that believes the Mets will deal Jacob deGrom this summer, even though the organization is currently seeing back-channel interest in him and Noah Syndergaard.
Why won't deGrom be traded? Here are the three most common reasons I heard from rival insiders..
1) Fill-in GMs J.P. Ricciardi and John Ricco are both expected to interview this October when ownership begins vetting candidates to be their new, permanent GM. In that case, it will be much more safe for Ricciardi and Ricco to keep their aces and, instead, pitch a more thoughtful plan to ownership this winter. Because, if they make a mistake now and botch a deal for deGrom today, they can kiss goodbye their chances of ever becoming the team's GM.
2) Even if a team is willing to overpay to get deGrom or Syndergaard, and even if the three interim GMs agree that the trade should get done, there is less than a 50 percent the deal would get signed off on by ownership.
3) To get either pitcher, teams with interest say the Mets expect them to part with a lot more talent than any organization is willing to pay.
For instance, to get deGrom, people with knowledge of the current market say the Yankees will need to part with at least Gleyber Torres or Miguel Andujar. The Dodgers would need to deal Walker Buehler. And the Brewers, who may need him most, would have to include at least OF Domingo Santana or 1B Jesus Aguilar and an elite prospect, such as 2B Keston Hiura.
The Mets are right to ask for the moon, especially considering deGrom is under contract for two more seasons after this one. There's also a legit argument to be made for keeping Jake, signing him to an extension and building around him. That said, every insider I talked with told me this is the right time to move him, a) because his value is sky high, 2) he is significantly better than any other available starting pitcher, and 3) the Mets desperately need immediate-impact, young hitting.
What's more, there are roughly 6-to-8 teams looking for ace-level starting pitching, including the Dodgers, Yankees, and Braves, which may be the only three farm systems truly capable of meeting the Mets' asking price for deGrom.
The market would be slightly different if the Giants were open to dealing Madison Bumgarner, but they're not. DeGrom is having a better season than Bumgarner, but Bumgarner's 2.11 ERA in 16 starts across 12 postseason series would be difficult for contending teams to ignore.
In either case, the buzz in San Francisco has the Giants keeping Bumgarner and, instead, adding enough inexpensive players this summer to keep competing and selling tickets through September. The general consensus is that the Giants intend to make a big push to sign free-agent-to-be Manny Machado, which will require they generate late-season revenue, remain under the luxury tax and have momentum heading in to the offseason.
In regards to Noah Syndergaard, it's hard to get a read on how he is being viewed by the market for starting pitchers. There is no questioning his charisma, talent and potential to be awesome. However, he's two years removed from his best season, after which he's made just 18 starts.
Syndergaard will make a rehab start Sunday for Brooklyn.
If Syndergaard's finger is better and he's activated five days after his rehab start, he'd be able to make just three starts before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. And, given his recent injury history, plus so few starts before the deadline, it's hard to see the Mets getting max value for him. And, if the Mets aren't getting max value for Syndergaard, I see no way they're dealing Syndergaard, who is 25, has the ability to be the best pitcher in baseball, and is under contract through 2021.
The concern over injuries is also putting downward pressure on the price for Zack Wheeler, who has a 3.32 ERA during his last nine starts and is under contract through next season. Wheeler should warrant a team's Top 10 prospect, but buzz among insiders is that no one trusts that he'll remain healthy through the remainder of this season.
For instance, the Cubs, who have top prospects to trade, are said to be a perfect fit for Wheeler. But, with question marks surrounding the health and durability of Jon Lester and Yu Darvish, the last thing Chicago needs is to trade a prospect for a pitcher that breaks down in August.
My read continues to be that deGrom and Syndergaard will be on the Mets at the end of this season. I do expect them to deal Jeurys Familia and Jerry Blevins before July 31.
Reliever Anthony Swarzak should get dealt. He has value, especially to a team like the Indians and Twins, both of whom want relievers under contract beyond this season.
I still see Asdrubal Cabrera getting dealt through waivers -- the Brewers make sense here. And Todd Frazier continues to look more like a possible a waiver-wire deal than a mid-summer trade, with the Indians or Brewers feeling like a good fit.
I'm still unsure about whether they can or will deal Wilmer Flores and Wheeler.
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!