The Mets still need a big splash at the deadline, and the addition of Rich Hill opens the door to make one. A difference maker is Kris Bryant.
Mets fans, by far and away disagree with an article I wrote yesterday that pooh-pooed the acquisition of Rich Hill to fortify their rotation.
I had argued the Mets still needed to stay in the hunt for a proven major league starter, given Hill’s age (41) and the fact the Tampa Bay Rays seldom if ever surrender a player who can help them.
Today, Hill gave the Mets no more but not less than they expected with five solid innings surrendering no runs, using his curveball to stymie the Blue Jays, despite having their leadoff batter reach base in four innings, and three of those on doubles.
Mets Rich Hill: What You See Is What You Get
At this stage of his career, this is Rich Hill, and despite a low pitch count, maybe Luis Rojas will think twice before sending him out for the sixth inning based on what happened next, as Hill left the game with no one out and the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
Usually called on to start an inning, Rojas went to Seth Lugo, who promptly allowed all three runners to score, erasing a 1-0 Mets lead, with all runs charged to Hill. (see final score recap below)
Nevertheless, convinced now that readers have a better pulse on the Mets and Hill, attention can now to the golden boy of the 2021 trade deadline sweepstakes – Kris Bryant.
Bryant (photo right) not only looks like David Wright, but he also plays like the former Mets’ team captain.
Not only is Kris Bryant having an All-Star season in his walk year with the Chicago Cubs, but he meets every measurement of what a difference-maker can be in the Mets lineup, together with solid defense at third base.
Easier Said Than Done
Easier said than done, of course, as numerous teams are in the hunt for Bryant.
Behind the scenes talks with Bryant’s agent, the renowned Scott Boras are critical because the Mets are looking to tomorrow as much as this year.
While Bryant is enticing even as a rental before Boras takes him to free agency, ideally, the Mets would like to know if Bryant is open to signing an extension with them shortly or at the time a trade is consummated.
Bryant, of late, is making it easier for the Chicago Cubs to part with him. In his last eight games, Bryant is batting .190 with no home runs and 2 RBI.
Additionally, just two days ago, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was pulled in the fifth inning of a game versus the St. Louis Cardinals. The injury is described as “hamstring fatigue” – whatever that is.
This, while the Cubs themselves watch their season go further down the toilet as they now trail the Brewers by a full ten games in the NL Central while going 4-6 over their last ten.
Therefore, a straight-up deal for J.D. Davis (to replace Bryant) plus a mid-level prospect from the Mets, is likely to be all the Cubs can command from the Mets in exchange for Bryant.
It’s either that for the Cubs, or they get nothing for him at the end of the season when he signs elsewhere.
Mets: Sometimes Speculation Makes Sense
It’s all speculation of course, and if we scour all of the “reliable reports”, it does get rather ridiculous. But the Mets acquisition of Bryant makes sense for the franchise, and therefore, it’s worth an all-out try to bring him in.
The choice for Acting GM Zack Scott and Sandy Alderson is fairly simple as we move to four days before the trade deadline.
The Mets have Rich Hill, a healthy and reliable starter who can be counted on to provide five competitive innings each time he gets the ball. In exchange, though, Rojas and his pitching coach Jeremy Heffner need to have the Mets bullpen lined up to fill four innings each time.
If they believe they have the formula to do that, then they can relax the effort to trade for another starting pitcher, while turning their attention exclusively to the Cubs, Scott Boras (don’t forget about him), and Kris Bryant.
Mets: Kris Bryant Is This Team’s Gary Carter
The conversation has to begin by asking the Cubs, Okay, what do you want for him?” The Mets also need their trusted “insiders” to find out what other teams are willing to give up for Bryant.
It’s tricky. These things always are. But for the Mets, a team with a future, it’s gotta be an all-in endeavor.
As I was writing this, the Mets tied the game on a two-run blast by red-hot Pete Alonso (22) and his Home Run Horse (featured image), and then Jeff McNeil came off the bench to deliver a two-run single that extended his hit-streak to eleven games.
Five relievers and with a slim one-run lead, Edwin Diaz, who is having a spectacular season (I said that), came on to close out a 5-4 win, and a series victory over the Blue Jays.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Marc Juceam Rather have pitching!! That’s what wins
Michael Mombo Calabrese Pitching pitching pitching that’s all we need unless we can make a deal that doesn’t hurt the farm system
Antonio Merced Pitching is what we need.
John Jet I completely disagree with you Steve and think your article is nonsense. Mets don’t need Bryant, with Boras as his agent he will demand ridiculous money that he’d just be a rental. JD alone has more value to the Mets than what you’re suggesting trading for Bryant.
Christopher Galagotis Steve Contursi I always have my doubts about Diaz. I did mention I wouldn’t watch or check scores but this game was an exception since my childhood friends were at this game. I’m glad we won however only Diaz can win or lose on a wild pitch. Lol. He’s hit or miss.
Kenny Clarke I’d rather have another pitcher than Bryant. Not a big fan of most Boras clients. And I do believe we already have one (Conforto). I like JD.