Yankees' 2024 rotation

5 Trade Deadline Targets for Mets to Increase World Series Odds

With just three weeks to go until the trade deadline, the New York Mets find themselves atop the National League East and currently hold the second-best record in the NL. Despite their success on the season, the Mets still have multiple areas where they can improve their roster for the second half of the season and help increase their chances at their first World Series win since 1986.

It has been reported by MLB Network Insider Jon Morosi that the Mets and owner Steve Cohen will be aggressive at this year's deadline, just like they have been over the previous two off-seasons with Cohen at the helm.

Just recently, the Mets lost starting center fielder Starling Marte and starting catcher James McCann to injuries. It is not clear how long the two will be out, but with the trade deadline looming, the Mets should be compelled to add an impact bat in the middle of their lineup. Here are five potential options that Cohen and company could target as the trade deadline approaches.

Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs, C

It was reported yesterday by multiple outlets that the Chicago Cubs are about to undergo a complete fire sale at this year's deadline. If this is the case, then the most attractive trade chip on the roster is Willson Contreras, who will be the starting catcher for the NL All-Star team. Contreras has put up a .266/.384/.483 line with 13 home runs on the year and will be a free agent at year's end.

With McCann out for an undisclosed amount of time and the Mets in need of another impactful bat, Cohen and company could go out and make a big splash by acquiring Contreras. The acquisition of Contreras would likely mean the end of Tomas Nido's Met tenure once McCann returns. McCann could get occasional starts at catcher and DH while being a valuable bench asset if the Mets were to bring Contreras to Queens.

It would require a hefty package to make this trade a reality, however. Contreras will be one of the most coveted bats on the market come deadline day, so the Mets will have to present the Cubs with an offer that is more attractive than other teams who are in search of an impact bat.

Mock Trade: Mets receive C Willson Contreras and RHP Chris Martin for RHP Adonis Medina, #7 prospect Khalil Lee, #14 prospect Jaylen Palmer

C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies, 1B/DH

With the Rockies out of the Wild Card race, they could look to trade off C.J. Cron, who has put together a stellar season in Colorado, slashing an impressive .292/.345/.544 with 20 home runs on the year. Cron is under team control through the 2023 season so this hypothetical trade would not only help the Mets for the remainder of 2022 but also in 2023.

Pete Alonso is going to be the everyday first baseman for the Mets for a very long time, but the team does need a consistent DH. This season, the Mets have used Dominic Smith and JD Davis as their primary DHs and neither has run away with the starting job. Bringing in Cron could help lengthen the lineup for the second half of the season.

Getting a deal done for Cron would require a significant package due to his extra year of control, but Cohen and the Mets have proved that they are willing to do whatever it takes for the Mets to win right now. Cohen should have no problem presenting the Rockies with a suitable offer if Cron is a player the front office views as a game-changing piece for their offense.

Mock Trade: Mets receive 1B/DH C.J. Cron and RHP Alex Colome for 1B/OF Dominic Smith, #6 prospect Matt Allen, #12 prospect Jose Butto and #22 prospect Jake Mangum

Nelson Cruz, Washington Nationals, DH

The Washington Nationals will be one the biggest sellers at this year's deadline and Nelson Cruz will be one of their most valuable trade chips. It has been a down year for Cruz, who is slashing just .241/.326/.363 with eight home runs on the year. But given his track record, teams could be led to believe that a second-half explosion is in the cards for Cruz. With a move to a contending team, Cruz could catch fire as a member of a team in a pennant race.

With the DH now in the National League, Cruz's value now expands beyond the AL. The Mets could use Cruz as their everyday DH and slot him somewhere in the bottom half of the middle of the lineup. Smith and Davis could be traded, or transition into a full-time bench role with the addition of Cruz.

Cruz should be significantly cheaper than Cron and Contreras in terms of prospects, but other contending teams will still line up for the chance to acquire Cruz given his track record, so the Mets will still have to put together a respectable offer to land the 42-year-old slugger.

Mock Trade: Mets receive DH Nelson Cruz for #19 prospect JT Schwartz and RHP Adonis Medina

Joe Mantiply, Arizona Diamondbacks, RP

The Mets' best left-handed relief pitcher this season has been Joely Rodriguez, who has pitched to a 4.67 ERA with 33 strikeouts over 27 innings this year. Despite having multiple years of control and being named to his first All-Star game this season, Joe Mantiply could still get moved by the Diamondbacks considering he is 31 years of age. Now would be the time for the Diamondbacks to move their All-Star reliever who is enjoying a breakout season with a 2.08 ERA and 34 strikeouts over 34.2 innings.

Given his multiple years of control, and the fact that he will be one of the best left-handed arms on the market at the trade deadline, Mantiply's price tag could get rather high, but Cohen should have no problem putting together an offer that could get a deal done.

Mock Trade: Mets receive Joe Mantiply for Stephen Nogosek, #14 prospect Jaylen Palmer, and #21 prospect Mike Vasil

Sam Moll, Oakland Athletics, RP

Before the 2022 season, most baseball fans probably would not have recognized the name, Sam Moll. He had only pitched in 17 innings at the major league level before this year, but he has proved to be a major part of the Athletics' bullpen this season. In 32 outings, he has registered a 2.08 ERA with 32 strikeouts and just 19 hits allowed. The Mets will be in search of left-handed relief pitchers at the deadline and Moll could be a potential match.

Overall, the Mets bullpen has been solid, but there is room for improvement, especially when it comes to left-handers. Moll could slide right into the Mets bullpen picture and be their best left-handed option immediately.

Moll still has multiple years of team control so it is possible the A's hold on to him for the future, but he is already pushing 31 years of age, so the time to move him would be now while his value is the highest. With a limited number of left-handed relievers on the market, the Mets surely will not be the only team calling the A's asking about Moll, so the offer will have to be respectable enough to convince Oakland to move him.

Mock Trade: Mets receive Sam Moll for #19 prospect JT Schwartz and RHP Saul Gonzalez