The New York Mets have been as active as any franchise in free agency, and they might not be done making moves. After signing the likes of Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana and Kodai Senga, the team could be entering the trade market.
The Mets are interested in Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks, The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reports. New York is looking to trade catcher James McCann, according to SNY’s Andy Martino, and is discussing the idea of trading pitcher Carlo Carrasco.
“I wouldn’t say we’re completely done,” Mets General Manager Billy Eppler said Tuesday at the press conference introducing Verlander. “Hopefully there will be a couple things that get announced in the near future.”
The Mets re-signed reliever Adam Ottavino to a two-year contract Tuesday. Doing so won’t necessarily preclude the Mets from improving their bullpen further with a trade for Hendriks, given owner Steve Cohen’s willingness to spend money.
The White Sox are reportedly considering moving Hendriks, who has been an All-Star in both of his seasons in Chicago. Hendriks has a 2.66 ERA, 75 saves and 198 strikeouts in 128.2 innings with the White Sox. The veteran pitched to a 1.79 ERA in 2019 and 2020 with the Oakland Athletics.
Hendriks is set to make $14 million for the 2023 season and has a $15 million club option for 2024. New York inked closer Edwin Diaz to a five-year, $102 million contract early in the offseason.
A busy offseason has given the Mets depth in the rotation and a catcher, as well as a payroll that’s projected to be north of $300 million. New York could deal one or two veterans in order to trim spending, at least somewhat.
McCann is owed $24 million over the next two years and has become an expendable asset for the Mets. Francisco Álvarez was ranked as MLB’s top prospect in the 2022 season and is viewed as the team’s catcher of the future. The Mets signed catcher Omar Narvaez in free agency and still have backup Tomas Nido under team control.
McCann has posted a negative WAR in both of his seasons in New York.
Carrasco could be much more valuable to another team than the Mets. The veteran is in line to be New York’s fifth starter behind Max Scherzer, Verlander, Quintana and Senga. Carrasco had a bounce-back 2022 campaign with a 3.97 ERA in 29 starts.
The Mets might choose to hold onto Carrasco and maintain their depth in the rotation. New York’s top starters are both approaching 40 years old.
Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker led the Mets in innings pitched last season and left in free agency.