When Brodie Van Wagenen last spoke publicly — a half-month ago — about the Mets’ trade-deadline agenda, he said he “would fully expect” Noah Syndergaard and other players under team control beyond this season to remain with the team.
What is the organization’s sense now?
“Same sentiment,” a Mets source said.
The Mets are still talking with teams about Syndergaard and others, however. And Syndergaard’s name is perhaps the one that has been appearing most frequently in reports on trade rumors in the leadup to the trade deadline at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Various reports in recent days have ranged from a rival executive saying the Mets will “definitely” trade Syndergaard to one hypothetical scenario that has the Mets sending Syndergaard to the Padres but then acquiring Long Island native Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays.
And the Mets, to be clear, have an organization philosophy under Van Wagenen to never say never. The Braves are among the teams who are interested in Syndergaard — though a source said those conversations haven’t gotten very far — and the Mets sent special assistant to the GM Omar Minaya to scout Atlanta’s Double-A affiliate and pitching prospect Ian Anderson on Thursday. The Padres and Braves have two of the deepest farm systems in baseball, which makes them good matches should the Mets decide to deal Syndergaard.
The Mets are positioned in such a way that they can hold out for only the trade offers that strike them as too good to pass up — the same stance they had on Syndergaard last winter. He is under team control through the 2021 season, so the Mets aren’t under any specific timely pressure to trade him in the coming days. The same goes for closer Edwin Diaz, setup man Seth Lugo and others.
As such, the cost for other teams to acquire any of these players from the Mets seems to be high. As one source with an organization interested in Mets relievers put it: “The asking prices are currently near the outer reaches of the Milky Way.”
Coming out of the All-Star break, Van Wagenen indicated the Mets’ focus would be to move players on expiring contracts. Highlighting that group: Zack Wheeler, who showed he was healthy in his return from the injured list Friday. Jason Vargas (team option/buyout for 2020) and Todd Frazier also fall into that category.