3. Yankees-Mets Trade: Jeff McNeil
Look, we can argue all day about whether it was a raccoon in the dugout, or if Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor simply choked each other.
But, at the end of the day, wouldn’t you rather just have the former All-Star who set off a Mets melee in a Yankees uniform on the other side of town?
The versatile infielder/outfielder underperformed for the first time in his career in 2021, and has otherwise been regarded as someone who posted one of the best introductory stretches of any second baseman in modern MLB history. No, really.
McNeil posted OPS+ marks of 138, 143 and 130 from 2018-2020 before slipping to 88 in 2021, watching his power slip from 23 bombs in 133 games in 2019 tot just seven in 120 games last season.
He’s undoubtedly trending downward and doesn’t have a permanent position on the new-look Mets, which is why he’s unfortunately joined the Dom Smith/JD Davis tier of tradeable assets. The Yankees have been connected to a McNeil fit in both the recent and distant pasts, and the cost should no longer be Gleyber Torres-level prohibitive, as it might’ve been after the 2019 season.
He’s not as much of a stone-cold lock to succeed as he was in his first three seasons (we might want to trust the 2021 power vacuum data, and the Yankees already have plenty of depleted power sources on the current roster), but if he’s available for a utility role/left field reps when someone inevitably goes down, it could be worth the crosstown swap.
He’ll at least cost less than Brandon Nimmo.