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Mets trade rumors: The Astros have called about Jacob deGrom

Did the Mets hang up right away or laugh first?

New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Mets stunk it up in the first half, and as a result, the team is expected to part ways with some veteran players before the July 31 trade deadline. Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda, and Addison Reed are all set to become free agents this winter and are all playing well enough to warrant interest from contending teams. One guy you don’t hear brought up too much is Jacob deGrom, but it seems the Astros have included him in their search for an ace.

The price for [White Sox starter Jose] Quintana is high enough that the Astros are looking elsewhere, having known to have called on [Julio] Teheran and even Mets star Jacob deGrom, as Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated and MLB Network first reported. And word is, the Astros don’t actually see Quintana as an ace at this point. The Yankees, who once had Quintana in their system, may like him a bit more.

If the price for Quintana is too high for the Astros, it’s hard to imagine they’re going to like what they hear about deGrom from the Mets. While both pitchers are in their prime and earning way less than market value, deGrom has the added bonus of being under team control for three more seasons after this one. Plus, he’s been pitching better than Quintana this year and has been particularly effective during his last five starts.

For the Mets to trade deGrom, the return package would have to be enormous seeing how deGrom has been one of the top hurlers in the majors over the past four years and stands a good chance of being a big part of the franchise’s next postseason effort. Just to start, we’d have to include dynamic outfielder Kyle Tucker in the talks as well as right-handed pitcher Francis Martes. From there, the Mets could decide on whether they’d prefer a close-to-the-majors guy like outfielder Derek Fisher or someone with more defensive upside like Daz Cameron, whose father Mike played for the Mets in the mid-2000s.

With Houston so close to its first ever World Series title, New York could demand the moon for deGrom and probably get it. The problem is that the Mets are hoping to rebound strongly in 2018 with all the pitching they have under control in addition to Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, and Amed Rosario. As poor as the team’s performance has been in 2017, there’s still a lot of potential in 2018. Trading deGrom now would go against all of that.

That’s why New York is much more likely to deal from the pool of players they don’t expect back in 2018 instead of trading away a franchise cornerstone like deGrom. However, for the blow-it-all-up crowd, a move like that could make for a sunnier 2020.