4 Yankees-Mets trades that could work as rumors swirl

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Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets are having a fire … sale. But, here’s the catch: they’re only planning on selling the pieces of their regime that have lost traction on their jobs as the rest of the roster has leveled up. Is that something the Yankees might be interested in? Picking up the pieces and buying low on a few Mets with potential?

“Grabbing the Mets who’ve lost their jobs” doesn’t exactly sound like a Big Brother move, but Brian Cashman has made a recent career out of picking up depreciated assets and (mostly) turning their lives around, and he has a prime opportunity to do it again with a trio of Mets who seem to be on the block.

Oh, and we’ve thrown an extra trade in for good measure, considering Starling Marte will be holding down center field in Flushing for the next four years.

Never mind that he should be in the Bronx, but we digress.

None of the pieces the Mets are offering have reached the 2021-22 offseason with the type of momentum they were likely hoping for, but a few of them have shown off an impressive pedigree in recent years.

What do the Yankees need, other than an injection of young offense wherever they can get it? Versatility matters, as does athleticism.

We prefer a pair of these trades over the others, but it’s worth estimating what a deal might look like for any of the three extremely available names — plus the fourth, more interesting deal we threw in for good measure.

These 4 Yankees-Mets trades could work as rumors swirl

4. Yankees-Jeff McNeil Trade

Hey, if there’s a rodent problem in the Yankees clubhouse, double bonus!

Jeff McNeil just posted his first representatively bad season of his four-year career in 2021, but prior to that, he legitimately put up three of the best debut seasons for a second baseman in MLB history.

Don’t believe us? Understandable! But it’s true — he finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year race with a 138 OPS+ in his debut, made the All-Star team with a 143 mark in his second year, and put up a 130 in the shortened 2020 campaign … before posting an 88 and just 1.4 WAR last year.

Still … the Yankees could use someone to rove around, fill in in left field, and play the floating DJ LeMahieu role the front office envisioned prior to the 2019 season. If Gio Urshela is traded, as many suspect he will be, McNeil could be an excellent utility squirrel.

Not quite as easy to find a role for him without Gleyber Torres being traded, too, but we digress. If only he could play a bang-up shortstop.

Controllable through 2024, the Mets would be wise not to undersell McNeil after his difficult 2021, the first step back of his entire career. In trading with a crosstown rival, especially, Billy Eppler must be careful not to take his opponent lightly. How about Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia and hidden gem Brandon Lockridge for McNeil? That’s a top-five pitching prospect, a top-20 outfield prospect who many believe could reach MLB this season, and a complete wild card former top prospect pitcher (who, objectively, is slipping into the Andújar/Frazier zone at the moment). If the Mets prefer pedigree over quantity, this might have to look more like Luis Medina/Ken Waldichuk, at which point the Yankees might well balk, especially considering they’re treating Joey Gallo like a left fielder more than a center fielder these days.

Something to keep an eye on, though. Likely the best player the Mets are dangling, but likely not a fit in the Bronx.