Amidst an offensive swoon that has provided some unease around Queens, the Mets are looking toward an NL East rival for potential help in the middle of their lineup.
Per Sports Illustrated’s Pat Ragazzo and Fantrax’s Michael Marino, the Mets have made an offer to the Washington Nationals for first baseman and designated hitter Josh Bell.
They are one of several teams in the mix on a list that potentially includes the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers, but there is no favorite deemed at this time.
To facilitate a deal, the Mets would have to part with a starting pitcher and outfield prospect currently in the upper levels of the minor leagues. That narrows the list of potential names quickly to that of pitcher Jose Butto, who is the only starting-pitcher prospect ranked within the Mets’ top 20 that is playing above single-A ball.
Mark Vientos and Khalil Lee are possible outfielder options that could be placed in a package for the Nationals’ slugger.
Bell is having a career season despite being the only other threat other than Juan Soto in a time Washington Nationals lineup. Through 95 games, he was batting .305 with an .879 OPS, 13 home runs, and 50 RBI.
He would provide a considerable boost to the DH spot while occasionally stepping in for Pete Alonso at first base considering the Mets haven’t received enough production from JD Davis and Dominic Smith — both of whom were given the opportunity to prove they could be every-day contributors to the lineup thanks to the introduction of the designated hitter.
Mets designated hitters this season have an OPS of .660, tied for sixth-worst in the majors. It’s a stat that becomes an even larger blemish when the team is struggling as they are currently at the dish. New York was held to just two runs over their first two games out of the All-Star break.
General manager Billy Eppler has already brought in Daniel Vogelbach, who has an .896 OPS and 12 home runs this season against right-handed pitchers as a DH option that would become an integral depth option at the position should the Mets come away with Bell, as well.
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