SEATTLE — Addison Reed, aware of his status as the Mets’ most likely trade chip, walked through the clubhouse on a sleepy morning here and smiled. “I’m still here!” he said Sunday, a few hours before an ugly 9-1 loss to the Mariners, the Mets’ final game before the non-waiver trade deadline.
By 4 p.m. EDT Monday, Reed is expected to be wearing another uniform, part of the fallout of a season gone wrong for the Mets.
According to a source, two teams have emerged as serious suitors for Reed, one of the top relievers available despite a market loaded with options. One of those clubs is the Red Sox, who have been linked to the righthander for much of the lead-up to the deadline.
But moving Reed marks only one of the changes that could be looming on the horizon for the Mets (48-55), losers of two of three against the Mariners. Sometime after the deadline has passed, top prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith are expected to be summoned to begin their big-league careers.
Rosario’s promotion could be hastened by an injury to shortstop Jose Reyes, who left the game in the fifth inning when he was struck on the left forearm by a 98-mph fastball thrown by lefty James Paxton. “It’s sore, but it’s better,” said Reyes, whose X-rays came back negative.
It’s clear that around the Mets, this is a time of change that they did not expect. Coming out of spring training, contention was their goal, not retooling.
“Certainly, we’ll be glad to get tomorrow behind us,” said manager Terry Collins, who acknowledged what has been a cloud hanging over the clubhouse.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Curtis Granderson also have been mentioned at some level in trade talks, though a source indicated that interest of late hasn’t been heavy.
“Things have derailed our season a little bit, mostly injuries,” said Jay Bruce, who has an outside chance of being moved. “Coming in here, at the beginning of the year, I thought we were a World Series contender. I think it’s part of the game, obviously. The team has to figure out how they want to approach the future.”
Even without a deal getting done Monday, a sense of change already had taken hold. Newly acquired reliever AJ Ramos was added to the roster, and to clear space, the Mets parted ways with lefthanded reliever Josh Edgin. The lefthander had a 3.65 ERA in 46 appearances and had been one of the Mets’ longest-tenured players, though he hasn’t recaptured his form since undergoing Tommy John surgery. Despite other logical candidates in the bullpen, it was Edgin who was designated for assignment. He likely will be claimed off waivers if he isn’t traded.
In his Mets debut, Ramos gave up two runs in the eighth inning. He allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base, then watched a potential double-play grounder turn into a run on a throwing error by Neil Walker.
Earlier, Walker flubbed a routine grounder, giving him three errors since his return from a hamstring injury on Friday. Said Collins: “He’s got to get used to the speed again.”
Ramos’ appearance included a pair of wild pitches, perhaps part of an expected transition period involved with getting acclimated to a new catcher in Travis d’Arnaud.
It was part of a largely forgettable day for the Mets, who fell behind 5-0 when Seth Lugo allowed a three-run homer by Nelson Cruz in the first inning and gave up a solo shot by Leonys Martin and an RBI double by Robinson Cano in the second. He allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings.
With that, the Mets moved closer to a trade deadline day that likely will bring more departures from a team that had been expected to be in the race.
“It is tough,” said Bruce, who intends to spend Monday fly fishing, insulated somewhat from trade rumors. “Because I think everyone in here wanted to be part of a run, just like obviously 2015 gave us.”