It’s right there for the taking, now it all depends on just how aggressive the Mets will be in going for it.
Despite a miserable series loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates to start out the second half of the season, the Mets are still in first-place but are holding on by a thread due to the ceaseless onslaught of injuries.
After J.D. Davis’ return from the injured list, the Mets had a complete lineup for the first time since May 1, but it lasted just four innings as Francisco Lindor is now week-to-week with an oblique injury.
The bad news kept coming as Jacob deGrom hit the 10-day IL on Sunday because of forearm tightness that has plagued him for over a week now.
Now the Mets face another lengthy absence on the left side of their infield while their starting rotation is down to just three healthy starters in Taijuan Walker, Marcus Stroman, and Tylor Megill.
Needless to say, every passing second is a wasted one for a team that should be headed to the trade market a week and a half before MLB’s deadline.
They won’t have any shortage of potential targets, either, as sellers have already emerged with notable contributors available.
If the Mets are looking to make a big splash on the left side of their infield, the two most obvious trade partners would come in the form of the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies.
A Cubs team on the verge of entering a firesale finally looks as though they’ll trade All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant, who is having a bounceback season after a miserable 2020 campaign, slashing .268/.349/.497 (.846 OPS) with 16 home runs and 47 RBI in 84 games.
In Colorado, the Rockies are expected to part ways with star shortstop Trevor Story — whose availability becomes much more appealing to the Mets after Lindor’s injury.
With Davis back at third, the Mets could go after Story to fill the void until Lindor returns, then move him to third base. Bryant has only played one career game in the majors at shortstop.
Still, Bryant would be an upgrade compared to Davis both at the hot corner and in the batter’s box. It would also allow the Mets to move Davis to a corner outfield spot — providing another option out in right field with Michael Conforto mired in a massive slump.
A trade for Bryant also provides the promise of a package that could also include veteran righty, Kyle Hendricks. He’s 12-4 with a 3.65 ERA but has allowed the most hits and home runs in the National League this season. Despite that, this is a pitcher with a 3.17 career ERA over eight seasons with a 1.120 WHIP.
Elsewhere, the Mets could check in on Texas Rangers veteran Kyle Gibson, who is enjoying his best professional season on a bad team with a 6-1 record, 2.29 ERA, and a career-best 1.069 WHIP.
The 33-year-old would be a far more affordable option compared to Hendricks in a package deal — even if he’s signed through the 2022 season — and would immediately bring some stability to the Mets rotation with the uncertain futures of both Noah Syndergaard and Stroman this winter.