Olney: Mets May Want Benintendi or Bradley Jr. from Red Sox in Edwin Diaz Trade

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2019

BOSTON, MA - JULY 16: Mookie Betts #50, Jackie Bradley Jr. #19, and Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox run onto the field before a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 16, 2019 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The New York Mets may be targeting a Boston Red Sox outfielder, either Andrew Benintendi or Jackie Bradley Jr., in a trade for closer Edwin Diaz, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

Olney revealed on ESPN's Get Up! on Tuesday (h/t NBC Sports' Darren Hartwell) that New York's "asking price" appears to be Benintendi: "I think the Red Sox, knowing the Mets are looking to add players who can help them in 2020, they may have to make a decision: Do we give up Andrew Benintendi, who is a true center fielder, in a deal for Edwin Diaz? It'd be fascinating to see if the Mets were to get Benintendi and if the Red Sox can get Diaz."

When asked if Boston would part with Benintendi for Diaz, Olney did not have a definitive answer.

"I don't know if they would, but I think that's what the Mets' asking price is going to be," Olney said.

Benintendi is enjoying another strong season, one that has seen him hit .280/.357/.454 with 10 home runs, 28 doubles, four triples and 51 RBI in 92 games. This comes two years after he finished runner-up for the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Award.

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The 25-year-old is under club control through 2022.

Olney added that trade talks have also involved Bradley being included instead of Benintendi. Bradley has struggled with consistency at the plate in recent seasons. The 29-year-old is hitting .231 with 11 home runs, 21 doubles and 41 RBI in 97 games. He was named an AL All-Star in 2016.

Bradley is scheduled to be a free agent following the 2020 season.

One year after earning his first career All-Star selection, Diaz has gone 1-6 with a 4.95 ERA in 44 appearances in his first season in New York. The right-hander has four saves in 27 opportunities while allowing eight homers in 40 innings.

Given the 25-year-old Diaz is under club control through 2022, New York does not have to trade him unless its asking price is met. The team parted ways with highly touted prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn in order to acquire Diaz, so the Mets would likely not deal the reliever less than a year later for a dramatically lower price.

Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reported the Red Sox are "unlikely" to land Diaz, while Mark Feinsand of MLB.com said the team does not appear to be a landing spot for any of the top relievers on the market:

Boston's bullpen ranks 19th in the majors with a 4.54 ERA, according to ESPN.com. The unit has recorded 18 blown saves in 39 opportunities, a mark that is tied for the seventh-most in baseball.