Mets Eye Two High-Caliber Third-Baseman But Is Either A “Smart” Move

Steve Cohen Mets Trade Deadline 2021

The Mets, with all systems, go, continue to generate reports they have interest at third base in two All-Stars, but is either a “smart” move?

Acting Mets GM Zack Scott has repeatedly said the Mets need “to be smart” at the trade deadline, set for July 30 this year.

Team needs are complex and variable, depending on what the Mets need to give up in return for the player(s) they want.

With three weeks remaining to D-Day, teams continue to gauge whether to mark themselves as buyers or sellers -i.e., are we in this thing or not this year.

For the Mets, that’s an easy one, and their owner Steve Cohen is standing by to open the door to exceed the luxury tax limit this year – but first, Scott and Sandy Alderson must convince him the acquisition is the right move for the team.

Conversely, two teams are at or very near labeling their season as a washout and ready to deal soon.

The Minnesota Twins, with no doubt MLB’s most disappointing team this year. In the AL Central, they are 13.5 games removed from first place, and barring a miracle 1951 NY Giants second half; they have zero chances to overtake the Chicago White Sox.

Across town in the Windy City, the Cubs are sinking fast in the NL Central, currently riding a ten-game losing streak while looking up at the Reds and Brewers.

For the Mets, Jonathan Villar is doing a credible job of handling third base, posting .246/.333/.410 this year, with six home runs and eight stolen bases.

While the Mets can’t wait forever for J.D. Davis to return, both Josh Donaldson (Twins) and Kris Bryant (Cubs) loom as an upgrade to either Villar or Davis, the road for the Mets to get there is a potential minefield.

On The Mets And Josh Donaldson

Sports Illustrated reports that Josh Donaldson has had himself an eventful week after beefing with White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito over the use of foreign substances and then homering the following game. Now, it appears as if the former MVP will be at the center of trade rumors as the July 30 deadline approaches.

Josh Donaldson Sounds Off
Josh Donaldson Sounds Off

However, before the Mets jump to Donaldson, consider this from former teammate Liam Hendriks, as reported by NBC Sports.

“Playing with Donaldson,” the Chicago White Sox closer told NBC Sports Chicago on Thursday, “I am not a Donaldson fan. On the field, one of the greatest. You want him on the team behind you. But I saw behind the curtain too much, and I’m not a fan.”

Donaldson is abrasive, an agitator, and not a good fit on a Mets team that goes about their business quietly and efficiently.

Therefore, a move in the words of Jake Scott is not a “smart” one for the Mets to make, despite the numbers Donaldson, might very well put up for the Mets.

To put it another way, the Mets do not need another Yoenis Cespedes.

On The Mets And Kris Bryant

On the other hand, Kris Bryant is one of baseball’s All-American Boys, but he too has complexities.

For one thing, Bryant is in his walk-year with the Cubs, making $19.5 million in 2021, and will be a free agent after the season.

Split that $20 million in half to account for the Mets half-season rental of Bryant, and that puts the Mets at the threshold in one move.

Make no mistake, though, Bryant is having a solid year (.271, 16 HR, 42 RBI, .353 OBP, with a .860 OPS that is well above the league average of .712.

Kris Bryant - A Mets Rental?
Kris Bryant – A Mets Rental?

Obviously, for the Mets, the question is, do they go for a rental to finish out the season, with no guarantee Bryant (29) has any interest in signing with the Mets as a free agent?

In this case and part of Jake Scott‘s “smartness” is to establish contact with Bryant’s agent, who happens to be the one and only Scott Boras, to get a feel on the answer to the question.

Steve Cohen has said he’s “in it to win it.”

Given where the Mets are halfway, Bryant could be the one player the Mets need to jettison their offense.

Add a proven major league starting pitcher to fill the fourth (and possibly even the fifth spot in their rotation, with David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi both out), and that should set the Mets up for a division title.

Mets: Look Before You Leap – And Then Don’t

The choice is there for the Mets to make, but with the baggage carries by Donaldson and the dollars and rental status attached to Bryant, the smart move for the Mets is to pass on both players.

With Bryant, the Mets will have as good a chance as anyone to pursue him as a free agent in December.

And with Donaldson, he’s a powder keg who thinks with his mouth.

The Mets still have time to look around. Take the time, make the “smart” move(s).

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Bertram Miller Always depends on the price.

Edward J Bessler Depends who they are and if they are worth giving up one of their few top prospects.

Dennis D. Diaz No. Don’t want the contract

Brian Schanerman What about Escobar from the Diamondbacks? He’s in his final year of a contract too.

Stu Kurland Isn’t it Zack Scott not Jake Scott? Yes, thank you and corrected I would look into both possibilities. Be ready to take on salary. If you can get Berrios and Donaldson without wrecking the minors then go for it.

Michael Brown Go get back Wilmer Flores for nothing. Use our bargaining chips on a starting pitcher. Author’s Note: As two other readers pointed out, it’s not likely the Giants will part with Flores, but it’s a good thought.

Barry Rabinowitz Not if it involves high prospects, they need SPs

George Trost Liam Hendriks was not very nice. But he was honest. Lol

Roberto Luis Rodriguez Jr. Ur gonna have to pay these guys…they have some great talent at third base in the minors…uncle Steve said 5 years we will get a chip! This is just year 1! Look where they r!

Ronald Joseph We got Villar, Guillermo, and Davis coming back. I’d say we’re good

Comments Closed And Final Thoughts

Readers are split as I’m sure the Mets are as well. The comments about staying with what we got intrigue me the most. Thanks for the input, and with this, we’ll close published comments on this article.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.