Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
According to a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking, the Mets remain focused on trading for a young shortstop under team control for many seasons, columnist Andy Martino wrote Tuesday (Daily News, May 21).
Sandy Alderson and his staff were once intrigued by A’s SS Jed Lowrie, according to friends with Oakland. However, it is very unlikely the A’s trade him, which means he could become an easier get this winter, when he’s eligible to be a free agent.
In the meantime, I expect to hear lots of rumor this June and July about Mariners shortstops Brad Miller and Nick Franklin, as well as Arizona shortstops Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings.
The D-Backs and Mariners were often seen scouting Mets minor leagues this past March. The sides had low-level talks before the start of the regular season, but the Mets were repeatedly asked to part with Noah Syndergaard, who they still have no interest in trading.
In talking to insiders with other teams, it sounds to me like some combination of Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, Kevin Plawecki and Jenrry Mejia will be Alderson’s best shot at trading for a young shortstop. I once heard the D-Backs were very interested Travis d’Arnaud, but his slow start, injuries and current concussion have probably decreased his value. That said, I don’t believe Alderson will waste any of these bullets on Franklin, who may end up being only slightly better than Wilmer Flores on the infield. Miller may be a different story, since he has a ton of potential, a big bat and a good eye, but decreasing value due to his recent struggles in the big leagues.
In the event the Mets find a winning streak and pull back near — or above — .500 toward the end of July, I think there’s a chance Alderson would consider dealing a mid-level player for veteran shortstop, such as Jimmy Rollins or Asdrubal Cabrera. However, I bet he’d rather make one deal, trade what he has to, and know the move helps beyond this season, which is why it’s worth keeping an eye on the Mariners and D-Backs.