The Mets have plenty of interest in outfielder Tommy Pham and left-handed reliever Brooks Raley, reports Andy Martino of SNY. A Pham trade could come together soon, per the report, but the Mets are weighing whether to trade Raley at all or hang onto him and the $6.5MM option they hold over his 2024 season. That option comes with a $1.25MM buyout, so it’s effectively a net $5.25MM decision, which seems more than reasonable for Raley.
Pham, 35, is all but certain to be traded today. He’s still owed $2MM of this season’s $6MM salary and will be a free agent at season’s end. The veteran right-handed hitter has turned in a strong .268/.348/.472 batting line in 2023, adding in 10 home runs, 15 doubles, a triple and 11 stolen bases (in 12 tries). He’s walked at a stout 11% clip and is striking out at a 21.2% rate. Pham’s once strong defensive ratings have dipped to below average as he’s aged into his mid-30s, but the Mets have felt comfortable enough to play him for 45 innings in center this season in addition to 395 frames in his more customary left field slot.
There are plenty of teams looking for outfield help — the Twins, Phillies, Padres and perhaps Yankees among them. Both Philadelphia and Minnesota are said to be eyeing right-handed bats, in particular. The Mets have already shown a willingness to trade within the division, sending closer David Robertson to the Marlins, so it stands to reason they’d have minimal qualms about sending Pham to the NL East-rival Phillies if Philadelphia president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski winds up making the best offer.
Raley, meanwhile, isn’t necessarily the lock to be moved that Pham seems to be. Also 35, the left-hander has had an excellent season out of Buck Showalter’s bullpen, pitching to a 2.37 ERA with a 26.2% strikeout rate, 11% walk rate, 38.5% grounder rate and just 0.71 HR/9. It’s the second straight season with a sub-3.00 ERA and strikeout rate north of 26% for Raley, who’s actually been more effective against right-handed opponents than lefties. Virtually every contending club is interest in upgrading its bullpen, and while Raley isn’t the type of power arm teams gravitate toward — he’s averaging just 90.2 mph on his sinker — the bottom-line results are nevertheless appealing. Martino describes interest in Raley as “significant.”
It figures to be an active day for the Mets, who have not only Pham and Raley to peddle but also future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander. The Mets are also surely open to offers on catcher Omar Narvaez and righty Adam Ottavino, both of whom have player options for the 2024 season. Narvaez’s struggles this year will make it extremely difficult to trade him, as he looks quite likely to exercise next year’s $8MM player option. Ottavino is pitching well, however, and with a strong finish to the season would be likely to turn down his own $6.5MM player option in search of a larger deal on the open market.