Fast-fading teams could soon become sellers, and the New York Mets could (yes? please?) pick up some pieces. The New York Post's Joel Sherman suggested four possible trade targets in a column: Aroldis Chapman, Martin Prado, Justin Upton, and Ben Zobrist. Lukas Vlahos looked at Zobrist earlier today. Let's take a look at the other three players whether or not they make sense for the Mets.
Although no one can dispute the Mets should add a solid, reliable bat to their lineup, adding a flamethrower like Chapman would help reduce the Mets' run prevention. The 27-year-old Cuban pitcher is in his sixth year in the majors, all of which he has spent with the Cincinnati Reds. Last year, in 54 games, Chapman had a 2.00 ERA, a 0.89 FIP, and a 0.833 WHIP, averaging 17.7 strikeouts per nine innings. But perhaps most impressive about Chapman is his pitch speed: His four-seam fastball averages 99.48 mph, according to Brooks Baseball. Last year, Jayson Stark looked at some of Chapman's statistics.
Chapman is under team control through 2016, which could make a trade look more promising to the Mets' front office, and Sherman compared the prospect of a lefty-righty duo of Chapman and Juerys Familia to the Yankees' Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. But with Jenrry Mejia returning from his 80-game suspension next month, as well as Vic Black, Jerry Blevins, and Bobby Parnell returning eventually, Chapman could be an expensive addition to a crowded and relatively successful bullpen.
If David Wright is, in fact, out for a substantial portion of the season, the Miami Marlins' third baseman could be the mix for his replacement. The 31-year-old spent much of his ten major league seasons with the Atlanta Braves before playing with the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, and, currently, the Marlins. He played in 37 games with the Yankees last year, hitting .316/.336/.541. For his career, he has hit .291/.338/.425.
Prado, like Chapman, is under team control through 2016, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro said he doesn't see the Marlins trading him, even as the team hangs near the bottom of the NL East. An intra-division trade is also increasingly difficult to pull off, especially mid-season, and manager Terry Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson seem determined to look within the team for a temporary third baseman. Prado would be an expensive backup if Wright were to return.
Upton, 27, spent six years with the Arizona Diamondbacks before moving on to the Atlanta Braves and the Padres. Last year, he hit .270/.342/.491 in 154 games and won a Silver Slugger award. This year, he's hitting .307/.368/.545 in 51 games.
Now in the final year of his contract, Upton would be more of a rental than anything, and Padres general manager A.J. Preller has shown he's not afraid to make trades. The Padres are only two games under .500 right now but sit 5.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and five games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. Upton could give Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer some time off, but the Mets would have a very expensive rotating cast of corner outfielders.