The Mets have two of baseball’s best pitchers on the mend, with Max Scherzer expected on Sunday and Jacob deGrom deemed likely around the All-Star Game period. However, with other injury issues in their rotation (and certainly some continuing deGrom uncertainties), the Mets are among the few teams to show early interest in Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo.
Presumably they would also have interest in other starters, including his teammate Tyler Mahle, who they talked about in the winter, and A star Frankie Montas, who they also explored. The twins (who acquired Sonny Gray from Cincinnati) and the ultra-aggressive Padres (who don’t seem to have any rotation needs) are said to also be involved on Castillo, who has another year before free will and is expected to attract interest. of each contender.
In another interesting twist, while the Mets came in on Thursday at the top of the MLB with the Yankees with 353 points, they might as well be in the market for a hitter. The commercial market isn’t expected to be stocked with bats, but Josh Bell and Andrew Benintendi are among the select few who would help.
The Mets were initially seen as among the best equipped NL teams to fill DH, as they had more candidates. But with Robinson Cano long gone, Dom Smith hovering around the Mendoza line and JD Davis’ OPS under .700, there is room for improvement.
MVP nominee Pete Alonso leads the NL with 20 home runs, but is mostly alone as a slugger in a Mets lineup that thrived by hitting a .261, top-of-the-league, hitting better than anyone else with men in scoring position ( .289) and generally setting the standard for opportunism. Another big bat – preferably a lefty (or hitter like Bell) – behind Alonso, could make the Mets more formidable.
With superstar Juan Soto almost certain that he will stay with the Nats and hitters in short supply, it will be a market to sell. The Mets (and many others) would have loved a shot at Soto, but a couple of his teammates (not just Bell but the eternal Nelson Cruz as well) might be among the better options in a market where overpayments are expected with a very limited supply.
Bell (.852 OPS) is having perhaps the best year among available batters, but Benintendi may also adapt as he plays out on the field, where the Mets have suffered absences from occasional injuries. Other hitters expected to hit the market include Trey Mancini, David Peralta, Carlos Santana, Ian Happ, CJ Cron and Jed Lowrie (obviously not a Mets option after his unsuccessful career in the Mets). Yet another Mets option could be a surprise call-up from top prospect Francisco Alvarez, who has been tearing him apart at Double-A Binghamton lately. Although he’s a catcher by trade, a DH role at age 20 might be more realistic (although he only has about 200 at-bats in Double-A).
While the Mets weren’t overly productive on offensive at the receiver, starter James McCann is expected to return soon and his game call is appreciated; pitchers have a 2.67 ERA with him behind the pot. The Mets should also look to improve the bullpen, particularly from the left side. There will be many relievers available, but with huge demand, that too will be a market for sellers.