The next two to three weeks will decide whether the Mets host a fire sale at the trade deadline, with general manager Sandy Alderson confirming that though the club is hesitant to move Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, it is not out of the realm of possibility.
“We know what we have in Jacob deGrom and Syndergaard,” he said Friday afternoon. “I don’t know that any team will ever tell you that they’re never going to do this or never going to do that. If somebody came to us and said, ‘We’ll give you all of our top-20 prospects,’ that’s probably something you’d have to at least consider. We know what we have, and at the same time, we never say never.”
Alderson, though, underlined that the Mets’ fate as sellers is not certain, classifying the club as “in the middle” between buyers and sellers. The next stretch includes series against the Pirates, Marlins and Rays. Granted, the Mets will have to survive the Dodgers first, including Clayton Kershaw’s return Saturday.
Alderson also implied that manager Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland are against trading either pitcher.
“We need some more wins,” Alderson said. “We’re 10 games under .500 [before Friday’s game], and we need to see improvement in our won-loss record almost immediately. I think we all recognize that. At the same time, we’re still in the middle of June and most teams are still trying to sort out where they are and what they’re going to do . . . [We] have had [trade] conversations with teams, but nothing that I would call substantive, and really just getting a sense of what direction they think they’re headed.”
The Mets called up reliever Drew Smith and outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski for the first time in either player’s career. Hansel Robles was designated for assignment after four years with the Mets and nine years with the organization. AJ Ramos (shoulder surgery) was moved to the 60-day disabled list. Paul Sewald and Chris Flexen were sent to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Yoenis Cespedes (quadriceps) still is not symptom-free and will not resume baseball activities until he is, which is complicated by the fact that the Mets have characterized his injury as a chronic condition. Syndergaard (finger) played catch and David Wright hit in an indoor batting cage and took part in other on-field baseball activities. Jay Bruce, diagnosed with a strained hip, said it has been bothering him on and off for months.
“It was probably affecting how I was going about my business as far as playing and performing,” said Bruce, who said the hip issue might be tied to his other injuries this year (back issues and plantar fasciitis). “I’ve kind of had a tendency throughout my career to kind of ignore what my body tells me because I feel like I can play through it . . . They think it’s going to be manageable and treatable with the right [physical therapy], rest and the meds that I’m on. It could have been a much worse diagnosis.”
Alderson targeted Monday or Tuesday to “ramp up” Cespedes’ activity. “I think it’s clear that we’ve got to figure out a way to get Yoenis on the field,” he said. “I know he wants to be on the field. Like any illness or injury that has to be managed, that can’t be cured, if you will, we have to manage it. So that’s a function of his preparation, of his on-field activity during a game . . . So to say that he has to be pain-free doesn’t mean that the issue that he’s facing completely disappears, it just means that we have to be able to get to a point where the symptoms have been managed so that he can move forward.”