The Mets have so far seemed satisfied making whimpers rather than big blockbuster trades before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. They've bolstered their squad by acquiring veterans Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, and Tyler Clippard, but they're not closing up shop just yet.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman loosely linked the Mets to virtually every possibly available hitter. The scroll of potential trade candidates include all the familiar names discussed over the past weeks: Justin Upton, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Gomez, Gerardo Parra, Jay Bruce, and Marlon Byrd.
After a scorching start with the San Diego Padres, Upton is hitting .178 since June 1. Such a prolonged slump is alarming for a two-month rental set to hit free agency this winter. Gonzalez—a speculated target for the past year—has conversely repaired his trade value for the Colorado Rockies by belting 10 home runs since July 5. Yet ESPN's Jerry Crasnick recently pegged his chances of following Troy Tulowitzki out the door as "30-70."
Gomez, whom the Mets traded to acquire Johan Santana in 2008, can replace the hobbled Juan Lagares in center field while injecting the offense with power and speed. He's also set to earn $9 million next season, a massive bargain for a star of his caliber. Yet Milwaukee Brewers teammate Gerardo Parra, an adept defender enjoying his best offensive output by far of his career (.324/.365/.517), represents a more realistic target.
Bruce and Byrd both offer pop, but acquiring either Cincinnati Reds corner outfielder would currently make for an awkward fit. Landing one of them would push the recently promoted Michael Conforto out of the lineup or create a defensive liability in center field. Heyman said the Reds looked at the sidelined Zack Wheeler in regard to Bruce, which is possibly why the Mets started eying a Byrd reunion as a "fallback option."