With the MLB Winter Meetings less than a week away, the baseball offseason is about to get kicked into full gear. Despite the modest signing of Chris Young, the New York Mets don’t appear to be a team that’s going to do much on the free agent market which means they’ll like spend more time exploring the trade market in order to fill their offseason needs. To jump-start their offseason, the Mets may be able to work out a trade or two during the Winter Meetings, and one team that could be a potential trading partner is the Tampa Bay Rays.
For starters, the Rays are one of a handful of teams that could be potential destinations for Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who the Mets are likely to trade this offseason. A trade of Davis straight up for Tampa Bay outfielder Matt Joyce may already be on the table and could happen at any moment if neither team can include either player in a bigger deal. It could also be the starting point for a bigger trade between the Mets and Rays.
With the Mets losing out on Jhonny Peralta they’ll likely have to trade for a shortstop if they don’t want to rely on Ruben Tejada at that position next year. The Rays have three shortstops that they could potentially trade in Yunel Escobar, and prospects Hak-Ju Lee and Tim Beckham, who are both close to being major league ready. All three would likely be an upgrade over Tejada, and it would be a mistake if the Mets didn’t at least explore trade possibilities with the Rays to acquire one of them. They’re running out of options at shortstop unless they want to go back to Tejada next year.
Finally there is David Price, who is rumored to be traded at some point this offseason. The last time an elite left-handed pitcher was on the trade market (Johan Santana) the Mets pulled off a trade to land him, albeit with a different general manager running the show, and it’s not far fetched to think it could happen again this offseason. The Mets do have a substantial crop of pitching prospects that could help them land Price if they were willing to part with some of them, and Sandy Alderson does need to do something to make a splash this offseason. Acquiring Price would certainly fit the bill.
Both the Mets and Rays are teams operating on limited spending budgets this offseason, and with the prices on the free agent market being outrageous it makes sense for both sides to pursue trades as a way to improve their rosters. The two teams appear to match up well with one another, so don’t be surprised if they work out a trade with each other during the Winter Meetings or sometime later in the offseason.