After reports surfaced over the weekend of the Mets potentially engaging in trade talks regarding Washington Nationals designated hitter Josh Bell, it appears as though the team’s focus has shifted — just another example of how volatile and unpredictable the market is around Major League Baseball’s Aug. 2 trade deadline.
According to SNY’s Andy Martino, “there has been no momentum” in potential talks between the Mets and Nationals for the left-handed first baseman/DH, though New York continues to scout Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles as a potential option to pair alongside newly-acquired Daniel Vogelbach.
New York is desperate to remedy their DH situation after JD Davis and Dom Smith failed to produce from that spot over the first half of the season. Prior to Sunday’s victory over the San Diego Padres, they had the sixth-worst team OPS from designated hitters this season at a paltry .660.
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Mancini, who is batting .268 with a .749 OPS along with nine home runs and 37 RBI, makes a bit more sense for the Mets compared to Bell given his defensive versatility. While Bell is a left-handed bat like Vogelbach and only a first baseman in the field, Mancini is a righty that can play first base and the outfield if necessary.
However, his bat doesn’t address the impending issue Mets DHs would have against left-handed pitchers. Mancini actually possesses reverse splits this season, exhibiting a .698 OPS with two home runs and nine RBI this season against southpaws while Vogelbach’s is even worse at .423 with no round-trippers and seven RBI.
The lack. of production against left-handers could be an anomaly — one New York might believe it can correct if they bring the 30-year-old to Queens. Over his six-year career, Mancini is batting .271 with an .806 OPS against lefties.