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MLB Trade Rumors: 4 Players the NY Mets Should Target at the Trade Deadline

Baily DeeterSenior Writer IIIDecember 22, 2016

MLB Trade Rumors: 4 Players the NY Mets Should Target at the Trade Deadline

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    Surprisingly, the Mets are just 4.5 games back of the first-place Nationals in the NL East, and they're just a half-game back of the Braves in the Wild Card race.

    However, if the Mets don't make a move at the trade deadline, they will fall behind these teams.

    The Mets have been hurt by injuries, and they have a lot of holes they need to fill. The MLB trade deadline is a perfect time to fill those needs, and there are a lot of players who could possibly help the Mets.

    Here are four players the Mets should target at the trade deadline.

Josh Willingham, Outfielder, Minnesota Twins

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    Josh Willingham doesn't get on base too often, but he has a lot of power.

    And, he would really help the Mets.

    New York is very thin in the outfield. Starting center fielder Andres Torres is hitting .201, right fielder Lucas Duda is hitting .249 and left fielder Scott Hairston is hitting .249. Willingham is hitting .261, and he has 19 home runs.

    It will take a lot to get Willingham, since his contract doesn't expire until 2014 and he is playing very well. However, the Twins are pretty much out of the AL Central race, so they might trade Willingham. 

    According to Blaine Blontz of SB Nation, the Twins would rather trade center fielder Denard Span than Willingham, and that the Twins are looking for a pitching prospect. The Mets could trade a pitcher and Lucas Duda for Willingham, if that is enough.

    The Mets will probably have to give up an outfielder and a pitching prospect, but it will certainly be worth it to add a good outfielder and a great hitter to complement David Wright in the lineup. Wright and Willingham will be very tough to pitch to, and Willingham would help the Mets playoff chances.

Ryan Dempster, Starting Pitcher, Chicago Cubs

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    In his return from the DL, Ryan Dempster shut out the Mets.

    If the Mets traded for him, he would be shutting out other teams for the Mets. 

    Dempster is very consistent, and he leads the NL with a 1.99 ERA. Despite his ERA, Dempster's record is 4-3, thanks to very little run support from his teammates. Since the Cubs are out of the playoff race, they are looking to trade Dempster for some prospects.

    Dillon Gee is now on the DL with a shoulder injury, and the Mets' rotation consists of Jonathon Niese, R.A Dickey, Chris Young and Johan Santana. The Mets need another starter, and even when Gee returns, they would benefit from having Dempster replace Young, Niese or Gee.

    The Cubs' pitcher has a 1.01 WHIP, and opponents are hitting just .204 against him. Dempster isn't a strikeout pitcher (70 strikeouts in 86 innings), but opponents make weak contact off of him. He also rarely walks batters (22 walks this year).

    New York needs a starter, and Dempster is a great one. There's no reason why they shouldn't go after him.

Huston Street, Closer, San Diego Padres

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    New York's bullpen has struggled this year, and they would really benefit from adding a great closer.

    Bobby Parnell leads all Mets relievers who have thrown at least 2 innings with a 2.83 ERA. The Mets don't have a proven closer, and in September, they will need someone to get the big outs in high-pressure situations.

    That guy is Huston Street.

    Street has a 1.13 ERA and is 13-for-13 in save opportunities. In just 24 innings pitched, Street has 32 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.75. He has been amazing this year, but his team is 34-53 and out of the playoff race.

    As long as the Mets trade some good prospects, they should be able to land Street. It's hard to win in September and in the playoffs without a proven closer, and Street is a proven closer. He is dominating this year, and there's no reason why he wouldn't continue to dominate with the Mets.

Justin Upton, Outfielder, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    For some reason, Justin Upton is on the trading block. And the Mets must capitalize on this opportunity.

    The Mets will have to give up a lot to get Upton, but it will definitely be worth it. Just like Willingham, Upton has a lot of power. Last year, Upton hit 31 home runs, and while he only has seven this year, he will definitely heat up.

    The D-Backs slugger would probably hit right behind David Wright, and he and Wright would wreak havoc on opposing pitchers. People say Upton has been terrible this year, but he still has a .273 batting average and a .353 on-base percentage.

    New York would have to give up some top prospects, but it would be worth it. If the Mets could somehow land an impact bat like Upton and a pitcher (starter or closer), they would be serious contenders. If they don't trade for a big bat or a good pitcher, they will fall far behind the Braves and Nationals in the NL East.

    Upton has a lot of power, and he knows how to get on base. Again, Upton comes at a high price, but he would significantly improve the Mets' offense and playoff chances.

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