NY Mets linked to Tigers ace: Here’s 3 prospects they can trade

May 4, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (57) smiles as he walks off the mound after completing eight shutout innings against the New York Mets at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are linked to Detroit Tigers ace Eduardo Rodriguez at the MLB trade deadline. Here are three prospects the team could trade.

The New York Mets had the highest payroll in all of baseball entering the 2023 season. The team spent money to bring in Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and Jose Quintana to help make a push for their first World Series title since 1986. Instead, the team has vastly underperformed, with their big-name starters in Verlander and Max Scherzer not living up to their resumes, and the bats have been in the middle of the pack so far this season.

For the Mets, even though they are a ways way behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the division, the National League as a whole is pretty wide open, so there’s a chance they could contend for a Wild Card spot. But who could they add at the trade deadline to help them out? insider Mark Feinsand wrote an article listing 10 trade candidates and their potential fits. For Detroit Tigers ace Eduardo Rodriguez, Feinsand lists the Mets as a fit.

“The 30-year-old southpaw is having the finest season of his career, posting a 1.40 ERA over his past nine starts to give him a season-long mark of 2.13,” writes Feinsand. “After allowing seven earned runs and three homers in his first 10 innings of 2023, Rodríguez has given up nine earned runs and three long balls over his past 57 2/3 innings, holding hitters to a .519 OPS. E-Rod, who is nearing a rehab assignment after spending most of the month on the IL with a left index finger injury, can opt out of the final three years and $49 million of his contract at the end of the season, making him a likely candidate to be moved.”

Even though the Tigers are under .500, they are still a handful of games back of the Minnesota Twins for first place in the dreadful AL Central division. But, it could be in the team’s best interest to sell and stock up their farm system. As Feinsand points out, Rodriguez has an opt-out clause at the end of the year, and will likely cash in on a strong season. But, Rodriguez is also sidelined due to a left index finger injury.

With that information, the Mets won’t have to give up their top prospects like Kevin Parada or Ronny Mauricio. It wouldn’t be smart for the team to do so for a two-month rental. So, who could the Mets trade to acquire Rodriguez? Here are three that could be swapped in a deal.

3 prospects the Mets can trade for Eduardo Rodriguez, No. 3: Jesus Baez, SS/OF

One player who has upside but is nowhere near making a debut in the majors is Jesus Baez, the Mets’ international free agent signing in 2022. He is currently listed as the No. 10 prospect in the team’s farm system, and his main area of strength is his power. Take a look at what wrote about Baez.

“The power potential from the right-handed slugger is no joke, his tremendous raw power is already translating to games. It’s best right now on his pullside, where he hit 56.3 percent of his batted balls in 2022, so it’s worth wondering how the overall bat will play once more advanced arms try going heavy on the outside part of the plate against Baez. Still, his power is a great building block, and considering he stands just 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds entering his age-18 season, there’s hope the slugging ability could grow to plus by the time he’s ready for the big leagues.”

In the Dominican Summer League last year, Baez slashed .242/.341/.403 and recorded seven home runs, 34 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 45 hits in 54 games (186 at-bats).

Baez is currently playing at the rookie level in the Mets’ farm system. Given the backlog of shortstop prospects the team has in Mauricio and Jett Williams, Baez could be blocked. Flipping him for Rodriguez could be the move for New York.

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