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Mets have commodities to offer as trade deadline approaches

Pitcher Rafael Montero of the New York Mets

Pitcher Rafael Montero of the New York Mets throws to a Washington Nationals batter in the eighth inning of the Nationals win at Nationals Park on April 8, 2015 in Washington. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rob Carr

WASHINGTON - Outfielder Michael Conforto and shortstop Amed Rosario, considered the top prospects in the Mets' system, appear off limits in trade talks, according to scouts.

That alone likely will dampen the team's chances of swinging deals for possible top-shelf trade deadline targets such as Padres outfielder Justin Upton.

Nevertheless, a belief exists inside and outside the organization that the Mets have a deep enough prospect base to be active if they choose to before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

"They could get an average piece," said an executive from another team.

In the case of the Mets' offense, particularly in the outfield and on the bench, average constitutes an upgrade. And players such as the Padres' Will Venable could help fill out the lineup.

Of the Mets' regular position players, only Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy have posted an OPS better than the NL average of .704.

The Mets' minor-league depth has led to optimism from some within the organization about the team's odds of retrofitting a sputtering offense -- even if it means adding at multiple spots.

Former first-rounders Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini have generated some early inquiries, according to a source, along with pitcher Michael Fulmer.

The Mets appear particularly strong in the pitching department, according to rival scouts and executives.

Righthander Rafael Montero has already pitched in the big leagues, as has Triple-A Las Vegas reliever Jack Leathersich.

Scouts say the Double-A Binghamton rotation boasts potential chips in Robert Gsellman, Gabriel Ynoa and Fulmer, the former first-rounder who has thrived since overcoming injury issues early in his career. Double-A relievers Josh Smoker and Akeel Morris also add value.

Triple-A Las Vegas starters Matt Bowman and Luis Cessa have attracted attention while both Marcos Molina and Casey Meisner at Class-A St. Lucie have drawn notice from scouts. Potential position player fits include infielders Jhoan Urena, Matt Reynolds and Dominic Smith, a former first-rounder.

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