In the end, I still think Asdrubal Cabrera or free agents Eduardo Nunez or Todd Frazier will be starting at third base for the Mets next season... assuming David Wright is again not able to play.
It also helps that Frazier can play first base, while Nunez can play second base, which would allow GM Sandy Alderson options when filling other positions.
The other multi-position player I keep hearing would be a good fit for the Mets, who are wanting to acquire a first base-outfielder that can hit left-handed pitching, is Cardinals 1B-OF Stephen Piscotty, who is also capable of playing third base.
"He can be the NL's Steve Pearce, but a lot younger," an NL scout told me.
The Cardinals are reportedly looking to deal a few outfielders, including Piscotty, so he can be had.
Oct 13, 2017; Frazier (29) against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Credit: Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
In either case, I don't expect the Mets to go after 3B Mike Moustakas. The Angels, Giants, Cardinals, and Yankees all have more money to spend, interest in Moustakas, and a glaring need at third base, so he should have no issue getting at least a five or six-year deal worth between $15-20 million a season. And, as I said earlier this week, I don't see Alderson blowing 70 percent of his offseason budget on one player.
The Blue Jays are open to moving All-Star 3B Josh Donaldson, but it'll cost two or three of your team's top-10 prospects and at least one established pitcher under contract beyond next season. Similarly, it's going to take a ton of win-now talent to get Baltimore to trade Manny Machado before Opening Day. He can be had today. But, people I've asked all seem to think he's getting traded next season.
That said, if the Mets want to explore a trade, teams interested in acquiring a third baseman should expect to be contacted by the Tigers, who are looking to trade 3B Nick Castellanos.
Castellanos, 25, who made $3 million last season, is arbitration eligible and coming off a breakout season. This is a quintessential sell-high trade for Detroit, but it could also be a bargain for the team acquiring him if he's truly elevating his game and realizing his top-prospect potential.
I'm intrigued by Nick, actually. He's a below-average infielder, but -- at the plate -- I like that his strikeout rate dropped for the second straight season, while his isolated power and fly-ball rates continues to increase. I would not overpay to get him, but I think the Mets have enough talent to deal that a conversation with Detroit is possible.
The way I see it, Castellanos will be 26 years old, which is the exact right time a player of his stature typically begins to get more lift and drive in their swing. He has always hit the ball hard. If he's putting those skills together, he could be an absolute bargain at what will likely be a $7 million salary for him in 2018. Plus, he's under contract and again arbitration eligible the following two seasons. The glove worries me, but with Cabrera on the team, the Mets would have insurance.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the host of SNY's MetsBlog Q&ACast and the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. 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!