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Mets trade rumors: Mets turned down Ian Desmond, Ben Zobrist in trade talks

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The Rays wanted two top Mets prospects for soon-to-be free agent Ian Desmond, but the Mets said no.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets' hunt for a new shortstop has been well documented. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, they could have acquired Ian Desmond in a potential three-team deal with the Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays, but declined because of high demands.

Here's the breakdown of the hypothetical blockbuster, from Rosenthal:

The Nationals would have sent Desmond to the Rays for Zobrist and Escobar, the two players that the Rays traded to the Athletics on Saturday. The Rays would have then flipped Desmond to the Mets.

The roadblock was the Rays' request for two top Mets prospects from a list of three– a price the Mets considered too steep for Desmond, who is entering his free-agent year.

The Rays' wish list included right-hander Noah Syndergaard, the Mets' No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America. The other two targets are not known.

The Rays' recent signing of Asdrubal Cabrera gave them flexibility to deal the Zobrist, a highly touted super utility player entering his free-agent year. The possibility of the Mets acquiring Zobrist ended when he was traded to Oakland. However, this was never a likely scenario, given the Rays' demands of two top prospects from the Mets, according to Rosenthal.

The Rays' demands of Noah Syndergaard along with two other prospects were very steep for a single year of Ian Desmond, although he has been worth at least four wins above replacement each season since 2012, according to FanGraphs. Despite the relative inaction of their offseason so far, the Mets' interest in the shortstop market cannot be questioned.