Despite holding multi-year contracts for all of their starting outfielders, the Mets are apparently considering the Padres' Justin Upton as a potential trade target with the July 31 deadline just two weeks away.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Mets are expressing interest in the young outfielder. This dovetails nicely with the report from last week that the Padres were scouting the Mets system, initially sparking the Upton-to-the-Mets rumors.
The Mets are making it clear to other teams that their Big Four starting pitchers (Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz) are untouchable in these talks, but Upton, still only 27, presents an interesting option for the Mets. He's having a decent year offensively, with a .331 on-base percentage to go with 14 home runs and 48 RBIs. He's been terrible against lefties this season, though, hitting just .183/.234/.250—albeit in just 64 plate appearances.
Upton is making $14.5 million this year and will be a free agent at the end of the season, leaving the possibility that the Mets could trade some top-end prospects for Upton only to miss the playoffs and see him walk away at the end of the year. That's a risk the Mets may need to take if they want to bolster the offense and stay in the postseason hunt.