Now, Andy Martino of SNY has reported New York is open to moving outfielder Yoenis Cespedes or second baseman Jed Lowrie, noting the team would like to make such a move happen before spring training but those efforts have "proven difficult."
A few things would likely complicate any such deal being made at the moment. For starters, Cespedes' playing status is still unknown. The outfielder suffered a season-ending ankle injury while evading a wild boar on his Florida property last May, per Joel Sherman, Ken Davidoff and Mike Puma of the New York Post. That happened while Cespedes was rehabbing from surgery he underwent on both heels during the previous offseason.
At 34 years old, that type of wear and tear isn't too enticing for most clubs looking to make a trade—even with Cespedes' career batting average of .274 with 163 home runs in 826 games.
Another issue: The Mets still don't have a manager yet, making it hard to assess just what the missing pieces might be for a New York team that finished three games out of the NL's final wild-card spot.
What makes a trade a bit easier is the reduction in salary for Cespedes. After the boar incident, the Mets were able to restructure the outfielder's contract, slicing his base pay in 2020 $29.5 million to just $6 million (increased to $11 million if he starts the season on the roster or heads to the injured list for non-ankle or heel reasons). That certainly makes the 2021 free-agent-to-be a bit more interesting.
Lowrie is also scheduled to become a free agent in 2021. The Mets currently owe the second-baseman $9 million this season. If that's too much for another team to take on, New York general manager Brodie Van Wagenen only has himself to blame. The GM negotiated that deal two years ago as Lowrie's agent before moving into his current role. Lowrie, 36, played just nine games last season due to various lower-body injuries.
So far these trade talks are just simple conversations, but it's worth noting which names are being repeated. No question the Mets are ready to move on from Cespedes. Whether or not any team will be willing to take him is a much different issue.