Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Marcus Stroman-to-the-Mets trade was not at all surprising to those who have been following Brodie Van Wagenen's work since last winter. He has always been willing to simultaneously add to and subtract from the big league team, blurring the line between buying and selling.
In December, for example, he was trying to unload Noah Syndergaard as a way to acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto from Miami. Had that worked, Van Wagenen was looking into Cleveland ace Corey Kluber as a Syndergaard replacement.
On Sunday morning, when we reported that the Mets were in on Arizona's Robbie Ray, it was in the same vein. Both Ray and Stroman are under control through next season. The Mets moved ahead with Stroman, and are now in better position to trade one or more starters.
According to major league sources, the Mets are still looking to trade Zack Wheeler and Jason Vargas before Wednesday's trade deadline. Syndergaard is also available, and will go if a team steps up. But as of Sunday night, sources still considered it less likely than Syndergaard would move, at least for now.
To be clear, Syndergaard will not be a Met long-term. He's under team control through the 2021 season, and will almost certainly be traded at some point before that. That could happen this week, but the Mets don't feel an urgency to force it.
The Mets are also still willing to package Wheeler with Edwin Diaz, to increase the return for the the former. Diaz didn't help his trade value on Sunday by allowing yet another home run on a slider - his bugaboo all season - but the Mets have been pleasantly surprised by the overall level of interest in their beleaguered but talented closer.
The Mets are cautiously optimistic that by removing Stroman from the market, they will drive prices up for Wheeler and Syndergaard. Many teams still want a starter, from the Braves to the Twins to the Brewers to the Dodgers to the Padres to the Astros.
The Mets have been engaged for months with San Diego on Sydnergaard, discussing names like centerfielder Manuel Margot and pitcher Adrian Morejon.
The Yankees like both Wheeler and Syndergaard, and would likely trade top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia for him. The Mets would like Domingo German and more.