Potential Trade Packages and Landing Spots for Jacob deGrom
Now it's time to do the same for his teammate, Jacob deGrom.
Assistant general manager John Ricco told the media that the Mets are willing to listen to offers on both standout pitchers, though the asking prices are expected to be substantial.
The 30-year-old has been brilliant this season, posting a 1.84 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 134 strikeouts in 107.1 innings for a 5.0 WAR. He's arbitration-eligible through the 2020 season, which further adds to his value.
Three notable teams are absent from this exercise, and it's worth addressing those cases here. The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies all figure to pop up on the rumor mill regarding both Mets pitchers.
The Dodgers have been reluctant to part with their top-tier prospects in recent seasons and there's no reason to think that will change. The Yankees will be forced to overpay by their in-city rivals, and it could come down to Gleyber Torres or no deal, at which point they'd almost certainly hang up. And the Phillies simply don't have the high-end prospect talent, unless the Mets are big fans of low-level guys like Jhailyn Ortiz and Arquimedes Gamboa.
As a result, those three teams were excluded.
Now, to the teams that could pull the trigger on a deGrom blockbuster.
With a 6'4", 200-pound frame and a four-pitch mix that has a chance to be above-average or better across the board, Wright has all the makings of a future ace.
The No. 5 pick in the 2017 draft opened the season in Double-A, and he's gone 5-7 with a 4.18 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 88.1 innings—strong results considering how aggressively he's been pushed.
Wright might have the highest ceiling in a deep stable of Atlanta pitching prospects and he's a viable blockbuster centerpiece.
LHP Luiz Gohara (No. 3 ATL prospect, No. 41 MLB prospect)
Few left-handed pitching prospects have the pure stuff of Gohara. He can touch triple-digits with his fastball and backs it with a wipeout slider and an improving changeup.
The continued improvement of his changeup and overall command will determine his ultimate ceiling, but power lefties don't grow on trees, and worst-case scenario, he'd be a major weapon out of the bullpen.
High-floor starter Kolby Allard could also be a fit as the second piece of this package. Gohara offers more upside, though.
OF Cristian Pache (No. 8 ATL prospect, No. 99 MLB prospect)
Now that Ronald Acuna has moved to the majors, Pache is the top outfield prospect in the system and a precocious prospect in his own right.
Still just 19, he's already playing at High-A Florida, where he's hitting .270 with 24 extra-base hits. His speed and defense are his best present tools, but he has a chance as a plus hitter as well, with at least some playable gap power.
According to MLB.com, he has a chance to become an "All-Star-caliber player," and that's the type of upside the Mets should be looking for.
RHP Touki Toussaint (No. 10 ATL prospect)
Drafted No. 16 overall in 2014, Toussaint was one of the youngest players in the class and he just turned 22 last month.
MLB.com wrote: "The Braves feel Toussaint grew more emotionally than perhaps any other starting pitching prospect in their system in 2017. He came to baseball, and pitching, a bit later than many, which might be a reason why adjustments have taken longer for him. He can get by with improper mechanics, but when he is in sync, he can dominate, and the Braves feel his athleticism will help him get there eventually, with a ceiling of a No. 2 starter."
He's still a work in progress, but the results are starting to match his upside, as he's gone 4-6 with a 2.93 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 107 strikeouts in 86 innings this season at Double-A Mississippi.
This package might look a little light in terms of overall talent compared to the other three proposed deals, but it's because Rodgers is the best individual prospect offered up in these trades.
If the Mets believe Rodgers is a future superstar, this deal might be impossible to turn down.
The 21-year-old is hitting .282/.339/.531 with 21 doubles, 16 home runs and 55 RBI in 77 games at Double-A, and he's still working to fully tap into his plus raw power.
He could fit at second base, shortstop or third base defensively, so that also provides some long-term flexibility.
RHP Peter Lambert (No. 3 COL prospect, No. 88 MLB prospect)
Lambert recently earned a promotion to Triple-A after going 8-2 with a 2.23 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a 75-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 92.2 innings at Double-A.
The 21-year-old has been pushed aggressively since he was selected in the second round of the 2015 draft, and he's now the top pitching prospect in the Colorado system.
MLB.com wrote: "He repeats his clean delivery with efficiency and uses his high three-quarters arm slot to pound the bottom of the strike zone. He looks like a future No. 3 starter and perhaps more if he can get stronger and add more velocity."
1B Chad Spanberger (No. 24 COL prospect)
Ignore that organizational ranking, as it will almost certainly change dramatically once MLB.com updates its full system rankings later this month.
A sixth-round selection in 2017, Spanberger posted a .985 OPS with 19 home runs and 51 RBI in 60 games at the rookie ball level after signing last summer.
It's been more of the same this year at Single-A, as he boasts a .303/.346/.574 line with 16 doubles, 19 home runs, 61 RBI and 14 stolen bases.
He'll go as far as his bat carries him, and that could be into an everyday first base gig and a spot in the middle of an MLB lineup.
OF David Dahl
Injuries have plagued Dahl throughout his pro career, but when healthy, he's looked like a star in the making.
He's currently shelved with a broken foot and he missed the entire 2017 season with a stress reaction in his rib.
However, he's still just 24 years old and it wasn't all that long ago that he hit .315/.359/.500 with 23 extra-base hits in 237 plate appearances as a rookie in 2016.
There's enough upside here for him to be an attractive piece of this package.
Los Angeles Angels
The best all-around athlete in the 2017 draft class, Adell went No. 10 overall and he's quickly emerged as one of the most exciting five-tool talents in the minor league ranks.
The 19-year-old has already earned an early promotion to High-A this season, and all told, he's hitting .324/.370/.612 with 18 doubles, 16 home runs, 53 RBI, 51 runs scored and 11 stolen bases.
He could be a top-10 prospect leaguewide by season's end, and a franchise cornerstone and perennial All-Star once he reaches the majors if he continues on his current development path.
2B Jahmai Jones (No. 3 LAA prospect, No. 78 MLB prospect)
Jones moved from center field to second base during the offseason, and he's continued to show some of the most exciting tools in an Angels system on the rise.
MLB.com gave him a 50 grade or better on all five tools, and he's impressed with his baseball acumen after splitting his time between the baseball diamond and football field in high school.
The 20-year-old is hitting a modest .241/.343/.394 at High-A, but his walk rate has spiked from 7.8 to 12.5 percent and he's shown more power with 22 extra-base hits, providing plenty of reason for long-term optimism.
RHP Griffin Canning (No. 5 LAA prospect, No. 91 MLB prospect)
A second-round pick in the 2017 draft after a standout career at UCLA, Canning is already looking like a steal after some medical concerns caused him to slip out of the first round.
The 22-year-old started the season at High-A and made a quick jump to Double-A, where he posted a 1.97 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 45.2 innings to earn another promotion to Triple-A.
He's more floor than ceiling with plus command of an average three-pitch mix and advanced pitchability, but the early results this season have been enough to send him climbing up leaguewide prospect lists.
LHP Jose Suarez (No. 10 LAA prospect)
An undersized 5'10" frame and an average fastball have kept Suarez out of the top prospect conversation to this point in his pro career, but it's getting harder to ignore his on-field results.
The 20-year-old split last season between rookie ball and Single-A, going 6-1 with a 3.28 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 68.2 innings.
At the start of the season, MLB.com wrote: "There is a big up arrow next to Suarez's name currently, as he pitches at age 20 in 2018. With the increased velocity and improvement in his breaking ball, he could make a big jump in the Angels system and use his pitchability to start moving more quickly."
He's done just that by earning two promotions already this year to reach Triple-A and posting a combined 3.88 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 69.2 innings.
The best pure hitter in the 2017 draft, Hiura has slashed .340/.396/.555 over 515 plate appearances since signing last summer.
On top of his 65-grade hit tool, he's shown a bit more pop than expected this season with 27 doubles and nine home runs at Double-A Biloxi.
The 21-year-old is limited to second base or left field defensively, and he might never hit more than 15 home runs in a season at the MLB level, but he has a chance to be a perennial batting-title contender.
RHP Corbin Burnes (No. 2 MIL prospect, No. 56 MLB prospect)
One of the breakout pitching prospects of 2017, Burnes went 8-3 with a 1.67 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 140 strikeouts in 145.2 innings after he was taken in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.
That performance sent him soaring up prospect lists, and he's now the top pitching prospect in a deep Milwaukee system.
MLB.com wrote: "Scouts rave about Burnes' lightning-quick arm, as it produces a 92-95 mph fastball that has natural cutting action out of his hand. He pounds the strike zone with the pitch, using it to attack hitters on both sides of the plate, and maintains velocity deep into starts. Burnes' above-average curveball, thrown with a high spin rate and late, downer action, is his best secondary offering, and he also shows advanced feel for a mid-80s slider. An effective changeup that has splitter-like action in the mid- to upper-80s rounds out Burnes' four-pitch mix, all of which play up due to his above-average control."
RHP Brandon Woodruff
Woodruff exhausted his prospect eligibility earlier this season, but he was slotted right alongside Burnes on most prospect lists as the top arm in the system.
While things have not quite clicked at the MLB level yet—he has a 4.88 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over 66.1 innings the past two seasons—he still looks like a future big league starter with middle-of-the-rotation upside.
The Brewers might have to swap Freddy Peralta into this spot to get the Mets to bite, but they'll likely try to avoid moving the exciting young right-hander if possible.
OF Domingo Santana
If the Mets are looking for more of a quick turnaround than a lengthy rebuild, rolling the dice on Santana rebounding to his 2017 form could be an appealing play.
A part-time player at the MLB level in 2015 and 2016, he finally received everyday playing time last season and responded by hitting .278/.371/.505 with 29 doubles, 30 home runs and 85 RBI for a 2.9 WAR.
However, the additions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich in the offseason—coupled with a slow start at the plate—earned him a demotion to Triple-A, and he looks like a prime candidate for a change of scenery.