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Addison Reed is the Mets’ most valuable trade chip

Mets pitcher Addison Reed delivers against the St. Louis

Mets pitcher Addison Reed delivers against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Credit: Jim McIsaac

As expected, Addison Reed has emerged as the Mets’ most valuable chip leading up to the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. According to a source, half a dozen teams have already inquired about the reliever, with the NL Central-leading Brewers among those in the mix.

But to move the rest of their assets, the Mets may need to do more marketing. It’s part of the reason that the Mets have gone into showcase mode, adopting an outfield rotation designed to ensure that both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce both receive playing time.

Bruce, a fixture in the lineup, did not start on Thursday against the Cardinals despite a career 1.258 OPS against starter Lance Lynn.

Also, Mets manager Terry Collins on Thursday confirmed a Newsday report that Asdrubal Cabrera will begin taking grounders in preparation for possible game action at third base, a position that he has played just once in the big leagues.

But third base is also a position of greater need at the deadline, with the Red Sox among those keeping tabs on Cabrera as they eye options at the hot corner.

Switching positions represents a reversal for Cabrera, who caused a stir when he asked for a trade about a month ago when the Mets shifted him from shortstop to second base.

“I know he said what he said in San Francisco, and the one thing we tried to get him to understand is that right now, there’s probably a larger market for third basemen than there is for second basemen at this point,” Collins said. “It’d behoove him to have that option.”

According to industry sources, mid-tier prospects represent the most likely returns for most of the Mets’ veterans such as Bruce and Cabrera. In the case of Bruce, he may not be traded at all. The Mets have weighed keeping him for the long term and may give him a qualifying offer at season’s end.

Reed, meanwhile, appears positioned to fetch a stronger return for the Mets. Of all the Mets’ so-called rental players — those on expiring contracts — Reed has attracted the most interest although a deal involving the reliever is not imminent.

Since coming to the Mets in a trade in 2015, Reed has been one of the National League’s top relievers. In 46 innings this season, Reed has a 2.35 ERA with 16 saves. He pitched a scoreless ninth Thursday and picked up the victory in the Mets’ 3-2 walk-off win over the Cardinals.

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