The Texas Rangers are more inclined to trade prospects than sign big free agents this winter, according to Ken Rosenthal, who tweeted a few things about the team's current thinking.
Sources: #Rangers open to trading better prospects in lieu of spending big on FAs. Gallo, Alfaro believed untouchable, but others in play.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 23, 2014
#Rangers remain open to trading any SS in right deal, but Andrus now least likely to move. Team believes he is headed for big year.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 23, 2014
#Rangers have spoken with #Braves about Justin Upton, as @Joelsherman1 said. Also have liked Upton in past. Pitching is more current focus.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 23, 2014
Putting those pieces together, perhaps the Rangers would be a good trade partner for the Mets. Texas has three shortstops who could be appealing in Elvis Andrus, Jurickson Profar, and Luis Sardinas.
Andrus has spent six seasons in the big leagues and is still just 26 years old. His defense and baserunning have been the most valuable parts of his game throughout his career, as he has hit just .272/.335/.345 while playing half his games in a very hitter-friendly ballpark. That translates to an 84 wRC+ for his career, which is not good but holds up a little better at short than it would anywhere else on the diamond. Oh, and he's signed to an eight-year, $120 million contract that starts in 2015.
Profar has been a highly-touted prospect—he ranked number one overall at Baseball Prospectus before the 2013 season—but missed the entire 2014 season to injury. He struggled a bit in his major league debut in 2013, but he's still three months shy of his twenty-second birthday. His minor league track record as a hitter has been pretty good.
Sardinas is also 21 years old, and like Andrus, the best parts of his game have been speed and defense. He got a taste of the big leagues in 2014 and hit pretty similarly to Profar in his first major league stint and Andrus over his major league career.
Of course, the Mets have quite a bit of starting pitching and could probably spare some of it. It's hard to imagine the Mets considering taking on Andrus's contract, but a player like Profar just might be intriguing enough for them to part ways with a significant pitcher.