All of the Mets’ feelers are immersed in the trade market ahead of Major League Baseball’s Aug. 2 deadline with seemingly no potential DH option off of the table.
Multiple reports in recent days have linked New York with both Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and Boston Red Sox DH JD Martinez as potential big bats to plug into the Mets’ lineup for the stretch run after already acquiring Daniel Vogelbach from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Mets are also linked to Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles, who appears to be a front-runner, for now, after the team pivoted from a pursuit of Washington Nationals lefty Josh Bell.
Industry expectations tab the Red Sox to be sellers at the trade deadline if their slump continues. They’re 4-13 since July 4 including an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays.
After taking the opener against the Cleveland Guardians on Monday, another string of negative results could be the push needed for GM Chaim Bloom to sell big, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The 34-year-old is battling back issues that have held him out of Boston’s lineup since July 17, but he remains day-to-day and is still deemed one of the top hitters that could be available at the deadline.
In no way has this been a trademark Martinez season despite a .302 average and an .849 OPS. He only has nine home runs and 38 RBI in 81 games. That’s a 162-game pace well below the 40-home-run, 115-RBI 162-game pace he averaged from 2015-2021.
Regardless, his prowess against left-handed pitchers would be something the Mets could use considering Vogelbach has a minuscule .423 OPS against southpaws this season. Martinez is slashing .368/.463/.603 (1.065 OPS) against lefties this season.
While it’s still unclear if Martinez will actually be traded in the next week, it appears to be a foregone conclusion that the Cubs will be shipping Contreras out of town.
At the surface, he becomes an immediate upgrade of a rental at the catcher’s spot as the Mets struggle to get any production out of Tomas Nido and Patrick Mazeika with James McCann — who wasn’t offering much either when healthy — sidelined with an oblique injury.
But there is some apprehension about Contreras’ ability to mesh with a pitching staff and call an effective game. Especially when responsibilities include backstopping Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Chris Bassitt.
It makes the 30-year-old more of a DH option with the ability to catch in more of a reserve role. Contreras has an .847 OPS this season with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 81 games, earning his third-career All-Star nod.