3 Yankees-Mets trades that would help both teams
By Adam Weinrib
The Yankees and Mets should actually get together for a trade or two.
For decades, the Yankees and Mets have sworn off dealing with each other — which is a damn shame, because there were several sequences during that time frame when the Flushing squad could’ve served as a pretty convenient farm team for the Bronx Bombers.
Ah, what could’ve been.
You know the score, though. George Steinbrenner despised his cross-town rivals, demanding excellence from the Yankees when they locked horns with even the absolute worst Mets clubs in the Mayor’s Trophy game in the ’70s. Once the National Leaguers actually started to “own” the city a little bit in the mid-80s, any hint of collaboration was completely over.
Cut to the annual Subway Series era in the late ’90s, and it hasn’t made a lot of sense for the two sides to come to an accord.
But maybe that changes now? After all, the Yankees and Mets aren’t true rivals like the Yanks and Red Sox. Steve Cohen seems dedicated to building an annual contender in Queens, and part of that process involves opening yourself up to all avenues that could potentially improve your team. If he plans to operate the Mets like one of the top teams in baseball, that will certainly involve calling the Yankees from time to time, offering them some absurd and embarrassing deal, laughing about it, then actually getting down to brass tacks.
If — and it’s still a big if — Brian Cashman is down to collaborate, these three mutually-beneficial trades could work for both sides this offseason.
3. Adam Ottavino + Prospect for Amed Rosario
It’s time for the Yankees to take advantage of Amed Rosario’s market.
Two things can be true concurrently: The Yankees bullpen still needs help, and the Yankees could benefit from cutting bait with Adam Ottavino.
Sure, Ottavino has had seasons like 2020’s flat-line before. In fact, his full 2017 season featured a 5.00+ ERA and 10 more strikeouts than innings pitched, showing there was more to his struggles than failing to miss bats. But with one more $9 million year left on his initial contract with the Yanks, they might not want to bank on a bounce back — especially since, even following Otto’s excellent 2019, he became overworked and unplayable once the playoffs arrived.
And in the Bronx, that’s…kind of what you play the whole season for.
The 35-year-old can certainly still be an ace-like reliever (just see 2019), and had his ’20 ruined by a comically poor outing in Buffalo that inflated his ERA like a Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, not a good balloon). We’re not trying to offload bum goods here.
Meanwhile, the Mets have waited so long for Amed Rosario to break out that they’ve now got not one, but two Amed Rosarios waiting in the wings. Top prospect Andres Gimenez reached the bigs last year and brought a solid bat and slick glove, and wunderkind Ronny Mauricio is now charging hard for a future role, too.
Rosario may be what he is at this point: A free-swinging non-starter in MLB who makes hard contact, but doesn’t take enough walks (or make enough of it). He’d be an upgrade on the Tyler Wade spot for the Yanks, though, with three years of control attached. Perhaps the Yankees can nab him for Ottavino’s salary and lefty prospect TJ Sikkema as a little bonus?