Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, MLB, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics

3 moves Mets should make besides trading for Juan Soto

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JULY 01: Sean Murphy #12 of the Oakland Athletics looks on first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on July 01, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

There are 3 moves that the New York Mets should consider making at the trade deadline, and none of them are Juan Soto. Who should they target?

The New York Mets are clearly having a fantastic season. They are currently leading the NL East and are in a good spot to, at a minimum, make the playoffs.

With the playoffs virtually imminent, and the surging Atlanta Braves making up some ground, it can be assumed that the Mets will be making a move at the trade deadline.

With Juan Soto potentially being available at the trade deadline, it makes sense that teams could be drooling at the opportunity to land the perennial MVP candidate.

This is not to say that Soto has no chance to land in New York, but the odds are slim with the Mets already over the luxury tax threshold and on the hook for approximately $288,889,817.

Steven Cohen has not been shy about his willingness to spend, but there are more penalties involved in the luxury tax than just money — we will leave that for another time.

So, with all this in mind, let’s look at 3 potential trade candidates for the Mets who aren’t named Juan Soto.

What are the greatest needs for the New York Mets?

The Mets have a very good roster, not only in the win column, but on paper as well. However, a very good roster does not mean there is not room to upgrade, even if it is not necessarily a “need.”

With this in mind, the Mets could use an upgrade at catcher. Currently, the Mets have produced a 0.1 Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR), which is good for 21st in MLB.

Along with catcher, the Mets could use some bullpen depth. Although Edwin Diaz and Adam Ottavino have been lights out, the Mets are still tied for 10th in MLB in reliever fWAR.

Sean Murphy

The Oakland Athletics are clearly in sell mode and most likely will not reach a competitive window for years. The Athletics also happen to employ the 5th best catcher in MLB this year in terms of fWAR with 2.3.

Sean Murphy has a slash line of  .241/.308/.409, which is good for a 106 runs created plus (wRC+), which is 6% better than league average. For reference, Tomás Nido has a -0.1 fWAR and a 46 wRC+. James McCann, in his limited time of 30 games, is not much better in terms of wRC+ with a 60.

Murphy may be expensive, due to the fact that he is under team control through the 2025 season. However, he may be worth it anyway, considering he never posted a wRC+ below 99, and has been in the league since 2019.

It should also be noted that he also very good defensively. Currently, he leads all catchers in MLB in Fangraphs’ overall defensive rating, and is in the top 6% in pop time and top 12% in framing, according to Statcast.

Being on a $725k contract this year, his contract would obviously not hurt the Mets financially. The biggest question is if they will be able to match other teams in their bidding wars of prospects.

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