SAN DIEGO — The Mets expect to make multiple trades before 4 p.m. next Monday, but a total housecleaning may not be imminent.
As it stands, team officials are relatively confident in finding matches that would move Addison Reed and Asdrubal Cabrera by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but there is less optimism that deals involving Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson, among others, will be consummated, according to major league sources.
The market for Reed is the most robust, with the Dodgers, Red Sox, Nationals, Brewers, Rays and Cubs among the teams that could land the right-handed reliever, who is unsigned beyond this season and regarded as the Mets’ best trade chip.
In an attempt to extract the best return package while trying to win as many games before the deadline, the Mets could wait until the proverbial 11th hour to trade Reed, who has seamlessly handled the closer’s role in Jeurys Familia’s absence following surgery to remove a blood clot from his right shoulder.
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The Mets also have multiple teams interested in Cabrera — he has been linked to the Mariners and Indians, but a major league official said there are other suitors involved — and expect to deal the veteran infielder.
Despite Jose Reyes’ recent surge offensively, interest for the veteran infielder has been almost nonexistent, with Reyes’ drop-off defensively cited as a significant factor.
Though Cabrera struggled at shortstop this season, he has appeared more comfortable since shifting to second base last month and is viewed in the industry as a better utility option with a higher upside offensively than Reyes.
A flooded market for power hitters has left the Mets uncertain whether they will deal Bruce, Granderson and Duda, all of whom are unsigned beyond this season.
If the Mets can’t find a satisfactory deal for Bruce, they could look to keep him for the remainder of the season and then extend him a one-year qualifying offer that would give the club draft-pick compensation if he signed elsewhere.
Even if players such as Bruce, Granderson and Duda aren’t traded by Monday, the Mets could consider deals involving those players next month. But the process becomes more complicated in August, as players must clear waivers before they are traded. In rarer instances, players are claimed off waivers and simply awarded to a team.
Neil Walker would also be a likely candidate for an August trade once he returns from the disabled list — as soon as this week — and shows his hamstring is no longer an issue.
The Mets have avoided trade discussions involving Jerry Blevins, as the club holds an option on the lefty reliever for 2018 and expects him to be an integral part of that bullpen.
Though Yoenis Cespedes is having a disappointing season, the slugger has full no-trade protection in his contract and team officials have no desire to deal him. Cespedes created waves last week by saying he hoped to finish his career with the A’s, while praising Bob Melvin as the best manager for whom he’s played.
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