With their offense languishing and with uncertainty still lingering over the health of David Wright, sources told Newsday on Wednesday that the Mets are weighing a trade for Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
It's unclear whether trade talks are advanced, though the Mets have been keeping tabs on options for the left side of the infield in recent days.
According to Foxsports.com reports, the clubs have engaged in preliminary discussions, though the talks have gained little traction.
Ramirez, 36, is a three-time All-Star with plans to retire after the season. He is off to a slow start, hitting .213 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs in 48 games.
Ramirez historically has thrived in the second half, however, improving his numbers across the board. He's a .294/.350/.522 second-half hitter.
Any deal almost certainly will hinge less on prospects and more on the Mets' willingness to absorb a sizable portion of Ramirez's remaining contract. He won't come cheap, which will be a stumbling block.
Ramirez is owed roughly $8.8 million for the rest of the season. And unlike other potential Mets trade targets such as the A's Ben Zobrist, Ramirez lacks the defensive versatility to be used somewhere other than third base when Wright returns from physical therapy for his back condition.
Shortstop Jean Segura also could prove to be a potential fit, but according to a source, the Brewers appear unlikely to make him available.
The days leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline could lead to some critical decisions for the Mets.
Despite constant injuries and a downturn since their 11-game winning streak in April, the Mets began play Wednesday night with a share of first place in the NL East. But their offense has struggled in the wake of injuries to Wright, Daniel Murphy and Travis d'Arnaud, who just came off the disabled list.
According to a source, the Mets have upped their efforts to pursue trades for pitchers Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee. Either could be moved to create a spot for lefthander Steven Matz, the Long Island product who has dominated at Triple-A Las Vegas.
With David Lennon