The New York Mets are currently trying to hold off three teams in the National League East amid another injury crisis.
The team should be active before the July 30 trade deadline, and they need to bring reinforcements in if they want to secure a spot in the playoffs.
They need a quality third baseman and, especially, one or two dependable pitchers.
Their farm system may not be the best, but besides major leaguer J.D. Davis, they do have some interesting prospects with lots of potential that could be available for the right player(s): pitchers J.T. Ginn and Matt Allan, outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, infielders Brett Baty and Ronny Mauricio, and catcher Francisco Alvarez, among others.
Here are two players that the Mets would dream to have on their roster come July 30.
2. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
At this point, everybody knows the Chicago Cubs will trade Kris Bryant.
For them, there is no upside in keeping him if they are not going to sign him to an extension, which doesn’t appear to be the case.
And if they indeed shop him, the Mets should be considered the favorites to land him.
So far, New York has been using a combination of Davis and Jonathan Villar at the hot corner.
While Davis carries considerable offensive upside, he is a liability defensively and doesn’t have Bryant’s track record.
Bryant would be a significant upgrade over Villar, too, and can also play some first base and outfield.
After suffering several injuries over the course of the last few years, Bryant has been mostly healthy this season, hitting .264 with 16 homers and 53 runs scored.
He is a former NL MVP, All-Star, and World Series champion, so he can make the Mets much more dangerous than they already are.
Kris Bryant has great stats including his OPS which is .834, that would lead all qualifying Mets. Bryant has above-average speed, hits many extra-base hits, and draws a lot of pitch counts, and can play seven positions. Keep in mind KB is dealing with a fatigued right hamstring.
— Cohen is here ⚾️🐇 (@metsandmusic) July 21, 2021
1. Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds
This would be a coup for the Mets.
The Cincinnati Reds are still technically in the race for a spot in the playoffs.
They are, as of Thursday afternoon, 6.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers and six behind the San Diego Padres for the second Wild Card spot.
But that’s a lot of distance to cut given how good both of those teams are.
To make matters worse for Cincinnati, their best offensive player, Nick Castellanos, has a microfracture in his wrist and there is no timetable for his return.
The Reds’ season may be going south in a hurry, and if that happens, they could very well be sellers at the deadline.
Luis Castillo is their best pitcher and has quickly turned things around after an ugly start.
Luis Castillo's last 9 starts:
🔴 56.1 IP
🔴 1.76 ERA
🔴 56 K pic.twitter.com/2CdUFcXyyg
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 18, 2021
Right now, the right-hander has a 4.39 ERA and a 3-10 record in 20 starts.
His ERA was in the 6.00s not so long ago, so that’s an improvement, believe it or not.
The Reds will likely be reluctant to trade him, but if the Mets approach them with an offer they can’t refuse, the story could be different.
Castillo is an ace, even if his overall body of work doesn’t show it this season.
He is also under team control for two more seasons after 2021, so he would be expensive.
But he is the kind of addition the Mets would dream to make: a young, controllable starter with upside and a track record of success.