In addition to announcing Amed Rosario will make his major league debut tonight, Mets GM Sandy Alderson also offered the following noteworthy insights about his intentions for the remainder of this season and beyond...
1. Don't discount an August trade
The Mets could deal Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, or Jay Bruce to any team this month provided the player clears waivers. Players with bigger contracts, such as Cabrera, Granderson and Bruce, typically clear waivers, since teams seeking to block a trade are reluctant to put in a claim. After all, if a team claimed a Mets veteran, Alderson conceivably could dump the contract on the claiming team, even if no trade is completed.
Apr 21, 2017; Conforto (30) rounds third base after hitting a solo home run. Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Alderson agreed that it may be important to deal Granderson or Bruce in August to maximize playing time for Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Juan Lagares. The Mets want to see as much as they can from their young outfielders to know how they should be involved in 2018. Lagares begins a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday.
2. The Mets are making moves to contend again next season
Alderson noted that he called the Marlins to ask about reliever AJ Ramos in part to help get insights about the trade market for fellow reliever Addison Reed. Alderson has a history of such inquiries. In his biography "Baseball Maverick," Alderson acknowledged disingenuously calling the Astros in 2011 to check in on possibly acquiring Hunter Pence because Pence was one of the primary alternatives for teams looking to acquire Carlos Beltran from Alderson's Mets. Pence was eventually traded to the Phillies, but only after Beltran was dealt to San Francisco for Zack Wheeler.
Still, Alderson added, he was sincerely interested in obtaining Ramos, who is eligible for arbitration and under control for the 2018 season. Ramos should form a credible back end of the bullpen next season along with Jeurys Familia and Jerry Blevins. The Mets have a $7 million option on Blevins for 2018, which is why he was not the subject of trade rumors prior to Monday's non-waiver deadline.
Mets closer Jeurys Familia and reliever Jerry Blevins. Credit: USA Today Sports Images
"I think we're pleased with how things developed and turned out over the course of the week," Alderson said, referring to parting with a pair of prospects to acquire Ramos, as well as four minor league arms in deals that shipped out Lucas Duda and Reed. "We have a high-quality back end of the bullpen type in AJ that will be with us in 2018. The four arms we added in the other two deals, we're very pleased with. I think that looking at 2018, we felt the bullpen was an area we needed to address. And I think with all of these deals we have taken steps to do that."
3. Conforto is viable in center field
Alderson said Conforto's performance in center field allows for the Mets to potentially have him play there in 2018 and beyond, especially if Lagares is available as an occasional defensive replacement. Alderson being open to Conforto in center field is important because it means the Mets can make Bruce a qualifying offer (provided he is not traded) and seek to bring him back for next season. Conforto, in that scenario, would be flanked by Yoenis Cespedes and Bruce.
Adam Rubin (Facebook | Twitter | Contact) has covered the Mets since 2002. He previously worked for the Daily News and ESPN. He also serves as assistant athletic director for strategic communications at NYIT. He is a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the University of Pennsylvania.