Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
As expected, the Mets have been contacted about Marlon Byrd, Bobby Parnell and LaTroy Hawkins.
However, two people with other teams told me they believe the Mets have had substantive trade talks with only one team in recent weeks; and it wasn’t about these players. The deal ended up being too complicated to pull off and that was that, though I suppose it could be revisited in the off season. This may have changed by the time I hit publish on this post, but I doubt it…
I’m pretty certain it was a team the Mets had also been talking with last winter, with these talks a continuation of those earlier discussions. The Rangers, D-Backs, Red Sox and Dodgers seemed to dominate the rumor coverage those days, but the Angels are the team that keeps jumping out at me.
I’m guessing and reading tea leaves here – this is not a rumor, just a Mock GM-type of thought – but it seems like the Mets and Angels should be able to find a way to work together. The Mets have desirable young pitching, which the Angels want; and the Angels have a variety of players at positions the Mets need to solve (first base, middle infield and outfield).
Earlier this summer, as well as last winter, the Mets showed interest in 1B Mark Trumbo. Things didn’t get far, because Sandy Alderson was never interested in giving up his most elite pitching prospects. This week, the Angels have discussed SS Erick Aybar with the Cardinals (Knobler, CBS Sports) and the Royals have reached out about 2B Howie Kendrick (Knobler, CBS Sports), both of whom are reportedly now available.
Last winter, I wrote that the Angels had interest in Jon Niese, back when the two teams briefly discussed R.A. Dickey. I assume they’d have interest in some of Alderson’s better pitching prospects, as well. However, these days, the Angels continue to want a front-line, Major League or MLB-ready starting pitcher for both infielders (DiGiovanna, L.A. Times), but no one seems willing to give up this level talent… including the Mets.
That said, eventually the Mets are going to have to make this type of deal, since it’s the best way to pick up multiple, productive players in one shot, without having to dish out a series of overpriced, long-term, free-agent contracts. I’m not saying it has to happen today, or that it has to be the Angels, though it does seem like they have a match. I’m just saying it has to happen… eventually.