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3 New York Mets trades to become a World Series contender

New York Mets
Jul 13, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the steps of the dugout in the game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB trade deadline is approaching and the New York Mets keep playing well through a myriad of injuries. But for this team to take the next step, becoming a World Series contender, moves need to be made in July.

New York’s rotation was expected to be its greatest strength this season, especially when Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco returned from injuries. But both starters suffered setbacks and the hits keep piling on to a collection of arms that carries significant durability concerns.

There are also a few weaknesses in the Mets’ lineup. Even with some impact players returning from the injured list, more can be done to turn this into a championship-caliber batting order. So, let’s examine three trades that could help make that happen.

Jon Gray traded to New York Mets

New York Mets, Jon Gray
Jun 30, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray (55) pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Syndergaard isn’t returning until September and Carrasco doesn’t have a shot at rejoining the rotation until August. paired with all the other injuries, the Mets need to find another starter. There aren’t a lot of options, especially with Max Scherzer off the table, so New York needs to set realistic expectations.

  • New York Mets trade: RHP Robert Dominguez (NYM’s No. 13 prospect) and 2B/OF Carlos Cortes (NYM’s No. 17 prospect)
  • Colorado Rockies trade: Jon Gray

Gray, a free agent this winter, would love to get away from Colorado. The 29-year-old holds an impressive 3.89 ERA this year, striking out 20.6% of batters faced and holding opponents to a .217 batting average. Once viewed as a potential ace, Gray would become a quality mid-rotation starter for the Mets. New York could trust him to go six innings every start.

Tanner Scott boosts Mets’ bullpen

Overall, the Mets can’t be too dissatisfied with their bullpen. It entered July ranked 13th in ERA (3.93), but Edwin Diaz, Aaron Loup and Trevor May have all been sharp this season. With that said, New York would be wise to add another lefty to the pen.

  • Baltimore Orioles acquire: SS Shervyen Newton (NYM’s No. 14 prospect), RHP Franklyn Kilome (NYM’s No. 20 prospect)
  • New York Mets acquire: Tanner Scott

Scott, under team control through 2024, would be an excellent weapon out of the bullpen. Turning 27 just days before the trade deadline, Baltimore’s top lefty reliever holds a 2.93 ERA and 34.8% strikeout rate on the season. Right-handed batters hold an ugly .153/.303/.194 slash line against him this season, too. Add him into the mix, New York has a collection of arms it can trust in the MLB Playoffs.

New York Mets acquire Starling Marte

New York Mets
Jun 23, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Marlins center fielder Starling Marte (6) follows through on a swing for a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries have created a plethora of different New York Mets lineups this season. Kevin Pillar is the primary center fielder, appearing in 40 games, with Albert Almora Jr. (23) and Brandon Nimmo (16) behind him. Realistically, this is a position where New York should upgrade before August.

Startling Marte meets all the criteria for the Mets. The 32-year-old is relatively affordable financially and there won’t be any long-term commitments for the impending free agent. He’s also outstanding near the top of the lineup posting a .402 OBP, stealing 12 bases and scoring 35 runs in 44 games this season. On top of all that, he’s a candidate for a Gold Glove in center field.

  • New York Mets trade: OF Alex Ramirez (NYM’s No. 9 prospect), RHP Tyler Megill (NYM’s No. 21 prospect)
  • Miami Marlins trade: Starling Marte

Marte is the missing piece for New York. He can slide into the leadoff spot and will create even more run-scoring opportunities for Francisco Lindor, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso. His addition will also shift Pillar into a more suitable role as the fourth outfielder. There will be a lot of competition for Starling Marte, but the Mets should make a strong push for him.