Mets Eyeing Starters on Trading Market

The Mets are trying to add a starting pitcher and they might do so in a trade. The Mets have had trade talks with the Reds about Mahle (per Michael Mayer) and have done a background check on Luke Weaver (Andy Martino). This comes soon after the news that Carlos Rodon has signed with the Giants and Kershaw returned to the Dodgers.

Mahle is the bigger name of the two, after back to back very good seasons in Cincinnati. The 27 year old righty had a tremendous year pitching to a 4.9 WAR without missing any starts. He went 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA over 180 innings pitched. Worth noting is that Mahle pitched in a extremely hitters friendly ballpark half of the time and his splits show that.

Mahle main improvement is his K’s per nine over the last two. With a increased Whiff rate, he has thrived. Between 2020 and 2021, he had pitched to a 3.72 ERA/3.82FIP, 1.21WHIP with a 10.7 K per nine rate. It’s shown in his Baseball Savant page, that the righty has found his success.

Baseball Savant

Mahle has ditched his curve and now works with 3 pitches. He has a 4 seamer (-10 Run Value), Splitter (-4 Run Value) and Slider (plus 1 Run Value). Early in his MLB Career he also used a change up and cutter, but those pitches didn’t have success. Since he ditched some pitches, he has gotten better. A solid formula for Mahle.

Mahle would definitely cost prospects to get. With him having a couple of great years and some control left (Free agent in 2024), he will be costly. However, sliding that type of arm in the rotation behind deGrom and Scherzer, will make the Mets rotation one of the best in the game.

Luke Weaver is another arm the Mets have reportedly being linked too. Weaver is more of a back end arm, that gives the Mets depth and innings. The former Cardinal, has been with the Diamondbacks in recent years.

The 2014 first round pick pitched to a 4.25 ERA over 13 starts with the Diamondbacks in 2021, pitching 65.2 innings. The 28 year righty missed starts due to a shoulder strain in 2021, but returned in September with 5 starts.

Like Mahle, Weaver has two years of control left, which make the trade more costly. However, Weaver won’t cost nearly as much as Mahle.

Weaver isn’t a strikeout guy and allows some hard hit contact, however his WHIP in 2021 was just 1.18, mainly because of his low walk rate.

Over his career Weaver owns a 4.64 ERA with a 4.06 FIP. His Baseball Savant page isn’t pretty, but he isn’t a top rotation arm and won’t be as costly as mentioned before.

It depends on which route the Mets will go and how much they want to give up. Obviously Mahle is the bigger name but Weaver provides much needed depth. In my opinion a strong number three is a must, so would definitely prefer Mahle over Weaver. Either way, it will be interesting what the Mets will do to fill out their rotation the next days.

Photo Credit: MLB trade Rumors on Twitter

Mets Expected to make a Strong Push Toward Signing Kikuchi

To no one surprise the Mets are considered strong suitors for the service of left hander Yusei Kikuchi. According to Pat Ragazzo the Mets are expected to heavily pursuit the 30 year old after the lockout is over.

Kikuchi is coming of a season with two different halfs. The first half he was an all start pitching to a 3.48 ERA in the first half with a 1.08 WHIP. The second half was the complete opposite with a 5.98 ERA and 1.70 WHIP.

His overall numbers in his MLB Career won’t wow you. He has pitched to a 4.97 ERA (4.41 in 2021) with a 2.4 WAR. However, Kikuchi is seen as a guy with high upside because of his tremendous stuff.

His main plus is his above average swing and miss stuff. He is in the 63th percentile in Whiff%, 60th percentile in chase rate and 57th percentile in K%. All improvement from his debut season in 2019.

If you look at Kikuchi his run value per pitch. He has success with his cutter (-4) and his change-up (-3). His 4 seamer is league average at 0 but his slider is plus 4. He still throws his slider 18.9% of the time and his change-up just 10.5%. If he switches those two pitches up, he could find more success.

His change-up is by far his most successful pitch. In 2021 hitters had an expected slash line of .175/.194/.256 with a 39.4% Whiff rate. Main reason for his increased success with that pitch is getting more vertical drop. His vertical drop went from 1.5 inches below average in 2019, to 0.1 inches above average in 2020, followed by 1.3 above average in 2021. Conclusion: Throw that pitch more Yusei!

If you watch Kikuchi pitch you see a lot of vertical drop in his pitches. His slider has the most success getting 3.4 inches above average (good for 59th amongst all pitchers). His horizontal movement is all way below average besides his 4 seamer that he increased from 0.9 inches below to 2.2 inches above average.

Conclusion, you see a ton of downward action on Kikuchi his pitches. If he is able to use his cutter, 4 seamer and change-up more and limit his slider, he could perform better. The stuff is there with a mid to high 90’s FB from the left side, but he has to get is all together a full year. After a promising 60 game season in 2020, followed by a strong first half, maybe he got out of Gass during the second half of 2021?

I definitely see potential in Kikuchi. He would provide another arm for our rotation and move Peterson/Megill to possible depth arms. The Mets lacked starting pitching depth last year so we know that’s desperately needed. To me with the Mets offense a rotation of deGrom, Scherzer, Walker, Kikuchi and Carrasco (hopefully returns to form), should be strong to compete.

Photo Credit: MLB trade Rumors

MetsJunkies Roundtable: Who Will the Mets get at the Deadline?

With the trade deadline coming up, the Mets are expected to make some moves. So time for us at MetsJunkies to give our predictions. Who do we think the Mets will trade for. Remember this is a expectation, which not necessarily need the hope.

Starting Pitcher:

Gem: Not only has deGrom been dealing with a bum arm practically all year long, but there’s no word going on with Marcus Stroman’s future with the club. In that case, Jose Berrios is the guy, he’s that guy you want as a top end rotation arm. This move will give the Mets the freedom to offer Stroman a healthy contract, but also feel comfortable enough if he decided to walk. Now who would and should the Mets part with in this kind of offer? Let’s kick it on over to Michael and see what he thinks.

Michael: Jose Berrios. There is no better answer than Berrios here. With it coming out recently that the Mets were looking to make a splash in the trade market, the question is whom will the Mets go after? They could obviously target more than one player, but to me the Mets are going to be big in the Jose Berrios market. He will come at a cost, but Ronny Mauricio to me is likely to be a chip the Mets throw around this year. I believe the Mets could get Berrios for Mauricio and a lower level prospect and call it a day.

Corné: Jose Berrios. At first I went with Tyler Anderson but recent reports mentioned the Mets wanting to make a splash at the deadline. Berrios is a fit as a top of the rotation arm, not just for this year, but also for next year. If the Mets could do a Stroman like trade, it should be on the table. Berrios is a very talented arm with a 3.48ERA/3.41FIP in 108.2 innings pitched. Over that span he struck out 114 with a 1.08WHIP. Adding Berrios would make the Mets rotation even more fierce, which could make a huge difference in the postseason.

Reliever:

Gem: Chasen Shreve. Yup. Listen, he’s not a costly player but he does have experience in New York with both clubs and is pitching to par. The lefty currently owns a 2.16 ERA in 25.0 innings pitched but has only struck out 17 while practically being owned by the first batter he faces. But again, the Mets won’t need to give up a ton and that’ll prove to be important going forward to the deadline.

Michael: Hansel Robles. Yeah, this is weird. The Mets will actually be asking for Robles? This to me is a great opportunity for the Mets to get a two-for-one deal here. If they get Berrios, you can lump in Robles too and then knock out two birds with one stone. Robles hasn’t had the best of years, but his comfort in New York, his past postseason experience, and likelihood to be a cheap get, could be attractive to the Mets. I could also see the Mets targeting Paul Sewald too, another former Met.

Corné: Ryan Tepera. With the Cubs likely selling at the deadline and Tepera in last contract season, I could see the Cubs dealing Tepera. The 33 year old is having a tremendous season, with a 3.20ERA/3.07FIP over 39.1 innings. Over that span he has allowed just 20 hits and 12 walks, while striking out 44. Same as Tyler Anderson, I don’t see this being a very costly purchase in prospects.

Bat:

Gem: It’s no secret that the Mets have been shopping J.D. Davis on the low while also assuring him that the third-base job is his. Hey, it’s a funny business. I do think however that Davis will be on his way out this time around and I wouldn’t be surprised if the team goes for a bat that has more of a capable glove at the hot corner. The Minnesota Twins are currently like 17.0 games back from first and Pensacola, Florida native Josh Donaldson could be the perfect fit. He may have a sub .250 batting average, but barely. The slick fielding third baseman also does own a .832 OPS in 242 at-bats, so he’s getting on base and when he’s hitting the ball, it’s hard. He’s also no stranger to joining a new club in the middle of a season and bringing an abundance of energy with him, he makes for a great addition to any clubhouse making that playoff push.

Michael: Javier Baez. Javier Baez to me makes too much sense for the Mets. He is a shortstop who can move to third or second when Lindor comes off the IL. He and Lindor are best friends from Puerto Rico. He is hitting .309 with four home runs in his last 15 games, and .357 in his last seven. His bat is finally starting to wake up.However, because of the weird season he has had, and that the Cubs are likely going to get a ton of prospects at the deadline from other deals, he may not come at as high a cost as Kris Bryant or Trevor Story. The main caveat here is what the Cubs are asking for. If the asking price is too high then I can see them settling for someone like Cesar Hernandez from the Indians, who is also under control through 2022.

Corné: Jonathan Schoop. It would be time for a Dutch guy to see a Dutch player in a Mets uniform right? Well, Schoop might be an idea to do so for the Mets. With the Mets having a lot of starting players, that likely wouldn’t lose their starting spot, a bench bat is the most likely scenario for the Mets to add a bat IMO. The 2nd baseman Schoop could play some second with McNeil moving around the diamond. Schoop is having a solid season with the bat, collecting an even .800OPS with a 122 OPS+. His slash line is a very solid .284/.325/.476.

That being said. I could see the Mets stand put and not adding another bat.

Photo by: MLBtraderumors

MLB Trade Rumors Predictions

MLBtraderumors.com is the baseball site, with arguably the best predictions among free agent signings. They posted their TOP 50 free agents predictions earlier today and here are the players they picked the Mets to sign.

J.T. Realmuto 5/125: They picked the Mets to get the best catcher on the market for a 5 year deal, worth 25 mil per season. Although, in a recent article, I mentioned my desire to sign James McCann instead, it’s no secret Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball. Getting him, would improve the Mets in a big way. He is a good hitting catcher with great pop time/framing skills. He is one of the few catchers than can play all parts of the game very well. And for the deal he is expecting to get, it’s a solid move for a big improvement.

Also read: Top 10 Mets Prospects Entering the 2020 season (Part 2 of 2)

Charlie Morton 1/8: According to MLBtraderumors, the Mets will miss out and settle for Charlie Morton to fill their rotation. Morton coming off an off year, but was his better self after returning from the IL. Morton pitched well again in the playoffs, to show his old form isn’t completely gone. I really like Morton, but not as the only addition to bolster the rotation, which was horrid. For 1 year at 8 mil, getting Morton is a great deal.

Overall this was a underwhelmed projection. I hope and expected the Mets to do more in the free agent market. Or will they be more active in the trade market? Fun offseason coming up.

Also read: #MetsCrushMonday: Thomas Szapucki

Photo credit: MLBTradeRumors.com (MLBTR)

More on Mets’ trade interest

While the Mets, Phillies, and some other clubs are interested in Rangers LHP Mike Minor, Texas probably isn’t in such a rush to move the former first rounder, not at least just yet. As the season goes on, it’s obvious that injuries happen, this is something Mets fans are certainly familiar with.

So waiting it out till June or July will give the Rangers additional leverage and they should absolutely capitalize on the situation, at least from a GM’s standpoint. Many Mets fans are wondering what it would take to acquire the left handed starter and the answer is hard to call. There may be a third team involved, Texas may want to dump additional salary, quite frankly, there are many variables.

But as of now, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Rangers haven’t received any phone calls, in regards to Minor and that organizations are likely in the stages of scouting the pitcher. This is something that of course that is common practice within Major League Baseball and doesn’t necessarily mean anything this early in the season.


April 17- Bob Nightengale is reporting that the Mets are one of the teams interested in Texas Rangers LHP Mike Minor. Minor is signed through 2020 while making a modest $9.5M per year and has experience pitching in the N.L. East.

Minor’s name floated around during the off-season due to the stall in the Free Agent market and is once again creating a buzz after pitching a complete game shutout vs the Anaheim Angels this week.

The former Atlanta Braves first rounder has pitched in 4 games this season, going 27.2 innings while striking out 22 (7.2 K/9) with an impressive 2.60 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. His record is 2-1 and is slated to take on the Oakland Athletics, this upcoming Monday.

Mets showing interest in potential trade

Bob Nightengale is reporting that the Mets are one of the teams interested in Texas Rangers LHP Mike Minor. Minor is signed through 2020 while making a modest $9.5M per year and has experience pitching in the N.L. East.

Minor’s name floated around during the off-season due to the stall in the Free Agent market and is once again creating a buzz after pitching a complete game shutout vs the Anaheim Angels this week.

The former Atlanta Braves first rounder has pitched in 4 games this season, going 27.2 innings while striking out 22 (7.2 K/9) with an impressive 2.60 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. His record is 2-1 and is slated to take on the Oakland Athletics, this upcoming Monday.

Can Vargas pitch himself off of the Mets?

Up until now, the thought of shipping Jason Vargas off seemed like a fantasy. I mean, what team’s GM would want these numbers on their rotation? Surely a team contending for the playoffs wouldn’t. But I’m not so sure anymore, Vargas has put together two straight starts where he kept the Mets in the game & picked up the win in the second of the two.

If Vargas can put together one more start, maybe going into the 6th inning while giving up two runs, he very well may have opened the door for him to get out & get traded to a contender that’s looking for help at the back end of the rotation. He could also serve & be useful as a long man for a team in the playoffs.

If the Mets aren’t able to unload Vargas by the end of the August Trade Deadline, I believe the right move would be to move him to the bullpen. With Blevins potentially on his way out, Vargas & Zamora could serve as the two lefties coming out of the pen, not only for the remainder of this season but the 2019 season as well.

If management isn’t unable to find a trade partner or unwilling to eat his entire salary, then put him in a position where he doesn’t have to pitch as much. Perfect for when the Mets are up or down by twenty runs. Joe Maddon would have pitchers he would only use in blow outs, It saves the rest of the bullpen while keeping those arms fresh for more important games down the stretch.

This season with the Mets, Vargas has pitched poorly in the small time he’s not been injured. He has a 7.67 ERA in his 58.2 innings pitched, on top of that he’s given up 78 hits, 14 of which were homeruns.

One thing that may favor Vargas if he moves to the pen is his 7.2 strike outs per 9 innings. By no stretch of the imagination is that impressive number, however I don’t find it to be a bad rate. However, time will soon tell what management & of course the Wilpon’s will decide to do. I imagine we might end up looking at another Ollie Perez situation.