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.
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.
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.