Major League Baseball

Addison Russell Should Be New York Mets’ Biggest Priority Going Into Trade Deadline

The MLB trade deadline of July 31st is rapidly approaching, and with the New York Mets holding steady in second place of the NL East, they need to make a few moves before time runs out.

The Mets could certainly use a relief pitcher or two, but in order to boost their chances of playing baseball in October, they need to find a replacement for shortstop Wilmer Flores. His inconsistencies in both the field and at the plate make him a liability as the Mets drive forward with their eye on the National League pennant.

With Jenrry Mejia set to return to the Mets lineup this week, acquiring a steady defensive presence in the middle of the infield is the clearly the priority heading towards the deadline. With just one true shortstop on the roster in Ruben Tejada, the Mets will certainly look for a young, promising player to trade for and take over the position fully.

Acquiring Addison Russell from the Cubs would solve this issue for the Mets, making this move essential in the next 25 days. Chicago, with their deep roster of young middle infield talent including Starlin Castro, Gleyber Torres and Javier Baez, could easily absorb the loss of Russell.

In order for New York to lure Russell from the Cubs, they will need to give up their top right-handed pitching prospect, Noah Syndergaard. Although Syndergaard (a.k.a Thor) has shown a lot of promise, the Mets have plenty of young talent on the hill. Though, the Mets are hopeful that a package of lefty Jonathan Niese and others will attract the Cubs to shipping Russell out, they’ll have no problem accepting the possible loss of Syndergaard in order to tighten up their middle infield.

A package of Niese and others could be attractive to the Cubs as they look to solidify their rotation that currently only has one lefty in Jon Lester. For the Cubs, the addition of Niese as a solid third option in the rotation, would be attractive in order to manage some of the power hitting lefties that are in the NL central with them.

Plain and simple, the Mets need solidification in their infield, while the Cubs certainly have infielders they can spare. Chicago needs pitching help and the Mets can certainly spare prospects in that department. While the Mets are looking for an influx of offensive ability, Russell’s batting average of just .229 is not something to be worried about. At just 21, Russell is still in his rookie campaign and simply needs to continue to adjust to the MLB keep working towards reaching his offensive potential.

Both teams look poised to make a trade before the deadline, it is just a matter of when and who will be involved in trades. This trade will happen, but don’t expect either team to show their cards in the next few weeks. This one is surely coming down to the wire.

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Matt Zaffina

Matt is a writer and data fanatic for Rukkus. To catch more of his thoughts about wrestling and Bruce Willis you can follow him - @mattzaffina

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