Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
For several weeks, the Mets' trade deadline thinking was fairly clear and straightforward. They expected to move Zack Wheeler, along with possibly Jason Vargas and Todd Frazier. They would listen on Noah Syndergaard, Edwin Diaz and others, but dramatic moves remained unlikely.
Then, Thursday brought a flurry of reports that indicated the team had become more open to moving Syndergaard by July 31.
What is a Mets fan to make of all this?
Cutting to the heart of the matter, it's clear that Syndergaard will not be a Met long-term. We've been hearing this for months from plugged-in people. Plus, a team simply doesn't discuss a player in this many trade talks - remember the blockbuster J.T. Realmuto/Yankees discussions last December? - if it doesn't intend to ultimately move him.
Syndergaard has two years remaining of team control after this season, and will almost certainly be gone before that. But now?
"We're discussing everyone except for Alonso, McNeil and deGrom, and that includes Noah," one team source said on Thursday.
A few weeks ago, the Mets concluded that they would not move Syndergaard in-season unless they were blown away by an offer - and they did not anticipate that anyone would blow them away.
Since that time, Madison Bumgarner and Trevor Bauer have likely vanished from the trade market, and interest in Syndergaard has been heavier than expected. Wheeler's shoulder injury has scared off several potential suitors.
"Considerably," said one rival GM, when asked how badly the IL stint had hurt Wheeler's value. "He can help that on Friday [when he returns] but not claw back all of it."
"It all depends on his how his medicals look," said another GM.
And now, according to sources, the Blue Jays are telling interested teams that they might extend rather than trade Marcus Stroman.
That combination of circumstances has increased the likelihood that someone will blow the Mets away with an offer for Syndergaard, after all.
The argument for keeping Syndergaard is that he will make $8.5-$11 million next year, according to a source. That represents excellent value for a pitcher of his caliber.
As of Thursday, the front office was not engaged in any hot-and-heavy talks about Syndergaard, but believed that it had more than enough time to put a deal together before the deadline.
According to sources, the teams that match up best and have expressed interest in Syndergaard are the Dodgers, Rays, Padres, Yankees and Braves (the Mets sent Omar Minaya to scout Atlanta's Double-A affiliate). The Astros, Brewers and Twins are also interested, but the Mets are skeptical that those teams can assemble an adequate package.
The Yankees are a wild card - firm in their interest and willing to discuss top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia, but skeptical that the Mets will trade with them. Many around the league share that skepticism, but one Mets person pushed back on that, saying, "Why would we send Omar [Minaya] to scout Garcia if we won't deal with them?"
According to sources, the Yankees would be willing to build a package around Garcia and outfield prospect Estevan Florial, but that would not be enough for the Mets. The Yankees also plan to remain engaged on Wheeler.
Speaking of Wheeler, the team hasn't ruled out keeping him, as SNY has previously reported. If Wheeler's IL stint ends up killing his trade value, the Mets could make him a qualifying offer, or even offer him a contract extension.
According to sources - and this is the final time we'll use that phrase in this story - Wheeler is open to talking about an extension, which is a change from earlier this month.
Got all that?
Giddy-up for a very intriguing six days.