Mets trade rumors: Which relievers could be available at 2024 MLB trade deadline?

Michael Kopech Mets trade rumors
Jun 8, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Michael Kopech (34) reacts after striking out Boston Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran for a final out during the ninth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

One hot month can overturn a few bad ones in an instant and for the New York Mets, their philosophies might have just changed with it. 

Toward the end of May, this was a team on the cusp of being sellers at Major League Baseball’s trade deadline on July 30. After going 16-8 in June and getting right back on the doorstep of a National League Wild Card spot, president of baseball operations David Stearns might be looking to buy a piece or two to bolster a postseason run. 

The Mets’ largest hole to fill is in a bullpen that has been inconsistent and shorthanded alike this season. 

Edwin Diaz overcame an injury just to get suspended 10 games for a sticky-stuff ejection. While he’ll return on July 6, the team transferred lefty Brooks Raley — their most valuable reliever last season — to the 60-day injured list on Sunday while facing the very real possibility that Drew Smith will miss the remainder of the 2024 season.

It has forced first-year manager Carlos Mendoza to mix and match a bullpen that has been largely ineffective this season. 

In total, 19 different pitchers have appeared as a reliever for the Mets this season — their collective ERA of 3.84 ranking 14th in the majors. Only eight teams, however, have more than New York’s 20 blown leads.

With some of his more dependable arms sidelined, Stearns has options to pursue at the trade deadline should he choose to. Here are some of the best that are expected to be available:

Jun 29, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Marlins pitcher Tanner Scott (66) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Scott, LHP, Miami Marlins: The left-hander could assume the spot left open by Raley’s injury and provide a steadier presence than Jake Diekman in the late innings. The veteran has been brilliant on a bad Marlins team, posting a 1.50 ERA, a 1.139 WHIP, and 38 strikeouts in 36 innings of work. His market will be a busy one considering the Marlins are undoubted sellers.

Jun 30, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jose Herrera (11) and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Paul Sewald (38) shake hands after defeating the Oakland Athletics at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Sewald, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks: Realistically, the 41-43 Diamondbacks are right there in the playoff race, but it has been a disappointing campaign for the defending NL champs. Sewald, who spent the first four years of his MLB career with the Mets from 2017-2022, has continued to evolve into a reliable reliever who is having his best season ever at 34 years old. He has allowed just one run on five hits in 16.2 innings of work this season (0.54 ERA) with 11 saves in his walk year, which will certainly help his value come free agency this winter.

Jun 28, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Carlos Estevez (53) pitches during the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Estevez, RHP, Los Angeles Angels: Estevez could fashion a role as a sixth or seventh-inning option on more of a contending team. The 31-year-old is on pace to have a career year, posting a 3.00 ERA across 27 innings of work with 27 strikeouts compared to just three walks. That’s a 9.00 strikeouts-to-walk ratio. His previous career-best was 3.52 in 2019 with the Colorado Rockies. 

Jun 30, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Tyler Rogers (71) pitches the ball against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Rogers, RHP, San Francisco Giants: The Giants are one of the streakiest teams in Major League Baseball with more lows than highs this season. They sit in fourth in a weak NL West and 11 games back of first but, like the Diamondbacks, are still in the thick of the Wild Card hunt. Still, they’ll likely receive calls on the 33-year-old Rogers, who is a free agent after this season. The veteran righty is a workhorse, leading the majors with 43 appearances this season (he also led MLB in appearances in 2020 and 2021) while boasting a 2.75 ERA. His strikeouts-to-walk ratio is also sterling with 29 punchouts compared to three walks (9.67).

Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox: Perhaps a change of scenery from the dysfunctional White Sox could help the once-highly-touted Kopech get back on track. His first full season in the bullpen has had its struggles. He has a 4.33 ERA in 35.1 innings, but his stuff is too good for teams to pass up on him when he is made available. The 28-year-old averages 98.8 mph on his fastball, which ranks in the 99th percentile of MLB. His K% is in the 93rd percentile, his xBA is in the 90th percentile, and his whiff rate is in the 88th percentile. David Stearns has rarely shied away from a project and Kopech could provide significant rewards if he were to unlock a new level in Queens.

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