With right-hander Matt Harvey’s season over thanks to thoracic outlet syndrome, the reigning National League champion Mets are unsure if it makes sense to deal prospects for major league help at this year’s trade deadline, according to the New York Daily News’ John Harper. “There’s a lot of grey area right now,’’ a Mets source told Harper. Only two Mets prospects – shortstop Amed Rosario (No. 18) and first baseman Dominic Smith (No. 76) – cracked Baseball America’s just-released midseason top 100 prospects, notes Harper, who points out that the 47-40 team lacks blue-chip pipeline talent to trade. Harper’s also skeptical of the quality of starters set to move by the deadline, though he adds that the Wild Card-holding Mets might be willing to part with Smith for a capable rotation piece.
More on New York and four other NL cities:
- The Mets’ tough-it-out approach with injured young starters Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz is backfiring on them, while the Nationals are benefiting from a more guarded method, opines Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. Harvey missed the entire 2014 season because of Tommy John surgery and then responded with a 238 2/3-inning workload last year, writes Boswell, who points out that Harvey and agent Scott Boras expected the Mets to shut him down late in the campaign. However, general manager Sandy Alderson had no such expectation and Harvey elected to keep pitching after dealing with backlash from fans and media. Meanwhile, the Nats have taken care of ace Stephen Strasburg, another Boras client, having shut him down early during their 98-win showing in 2012. They also sent Strasburg to the disabled list last month rather than take a chance with his upper back injury. Strasburg dominated before landing on the DL and has continued doing so since returning July 3. Moreover, while Strasburg might have been this year’s NL All-Star starter, he and the club made the “mutual decision” to keep him out of the game, per president and GM Mike Rizzo.
- Having won 12 of 15, the 46-42 Pirates now sit just 1.5 games back of a Wild Card spot. Thus, they’re approaching the trade deadline as buyers. “Our expectation is we are going to add,” GM Neal Huntington told Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Our mindset is we are going to add and put ourselves, for the first time in the franchise history, in position to make the postseason four consecutive years.” The Pirates’ resurgence has come without ace Gerrit Cole and catcher Francisco Cervelli, of which Huntington is cognizant. “We’ve gone through this toughest part of our schedule,” he said. “We’re going to get guys back healthy.”
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak acknowledged that the idea of promoting Baseball America’s second-ranked prospect, Triple-A right-hander Alex Reyes, as a bullpen option is an enticing one. “So when you think about that type of tool set and putting it in the bullpen it’s certainly exciting,” Mozeliak told Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You’d be hard pressed to find that type of talent in the trade market and let alone (it would be a) zero acquisition cost.” On the other hand, the flame-throwing 21-year-old hasn’t totaled more than 116 1/3 frames in a season since joining the Cardinals organization in 2013, and they want him to accrue innings so he can help their rotation in 2017. “If all he ended up with is 75 innings what can we expect from him as a starter next year?” Mozeliak said. Reyes, who served a 50-game marijuana suspension to begin the season, has racked up 41 1/3 innings this year.
- Before the Diamondbacks traded Brad Ziegler to Boston on Saturday, they asked the pending free agent reliever if he’d be open to a contract extension. Ziegler said yes, but, “Next time I heard from them, they told me I was traded” (via ESPN’s Scott Lauber).