Despite a successful season that culminated in a trip to the World Series, the Mets still might not have a long-term solution to their shortstop situation. Despite the relatively strong performances of Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada in 2015, the team needs to consider making an upgrade at the position, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
The shortstop market is fairly thin, as usual, so Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is faced with a dearth of options. This should shift his focus to the trade market, where there are two potentially good fits for the Mets: Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs and Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers.
The Cubs have a wealth of middle infielders, including Baez and Addison Russell. The Mets' pitching surplus makes for a perfect match between the 2015 NLCS foes. Baez is something of an all-or-nothing hitter—he's struck out 119 times over the first 309 plate appearances of his career. His offensive potential makes up for this, though, as he hit 37 home runs in the 2013 minor league season across High-A and Double-A. The Mets are familiar with the 22-year-old's power, as evidenced by this 434-foot shot against Jenrry Mejia in 2014. His defense is adequate at short, a position a which he's played 300 innings in the majors. Matt Harvey is too steep of a price to pay for Baez, but Zack Wheeler might be a fair starting point on the Mets' side of the trade.
Of Profar, Sherman writes:
Going into the 2013 campaign, Profar was ranked as the majors' No. 1 prospect by Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com, and played 85 games at age 20 for Texas. Since then he has endured multiple shoulder surgeries and not played a game in the majors the past two years. He exclusively has been a designated hitter in the Arizona Fall League and, according to the scouts, looked fine.
Acquiring the 22-year-old is a risky endeavor, but his talent makes such a deal at least worth considering. He struggled with the Rangers in 2015, hitting .234/.308/.336 with a 75 wRC+ in 324 plate appearances. Whether he is able to surpass Flores's production is a question, but if the Mets want to roll the dice on the trade market Profar would come at a far cheaper price than Baez.
The other options on the trade market, including former Met Jose Reyes, might be too pricy for the Mets' liking, and none of them have as much upside as do Baez and Profar.