It has been a nightmare year for the New York Mets. The club came into the 2023 season with the highest payroll in Major League Baseball. Their payroll was $76.5 million higher than the second-most expensive team in the league, the New York Yankees. But that hasn’t amounted to any type of success on the diamond.
New York is six games under .500, 17.0 games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves and 7.0 games behind in the Wild Card race. To make matters worse, their division rival Miami Marlins are ahead of them in the standings despite their payroll being almost one-fourth less than the Mets’.
The two clubs actually completed a trade on Thursday night which sent elite right-handed relief pitcher David Robertson to the Marlins for two minor league prospects. The trade essentially signals that the Marlins are buying for a postseason run, while the Mets are giving up on the season.
On the back of the Robertson trade, it appears the Mets are going all-in as sellers at the trade deadline. A report from MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand says “there is a belief within the industry that the Mets could very well move (Justin Verlander)… in the coming days“.
The Mets signed Verlander to a lucrative two-year, $86,666,666 million contract in the offseason. The deal includes a $35 million player option for 2025, as well as a full no-trade clause. Verlander can freely choose where he wants to be traded; that is, if he even approves the trade or not.
A trade won’t be easy due to the no-trade clause and the magnitude of the contract, with the Mets likely having to pay off a good chunk of it in order to get a decent return in a potential trade.
Verlander has once again been one of the best pitchers in MLB this season, owning a 3.24 ERA and striking out 7.7 batters per nine innings.
It won’t just be Verlander
With Robertson gone and Verlander a possibility, there are even more Mets veterans rumored to be on the move. According to a report from SNY’s Andy Martino, Mark Canha and Tommy Pham “are generating interest, and are likely to be traded“.
Canha sports .242/.339/.379 slash line with six home runs and 29 RBI. Pham is slashing .266/.349/.464 with nine home runs, 35 RBI and 11 stolen bases.
While both hitters aren’t tearing it up by any means, they have played in a majority of the Mets’ games so far this season and are nearly every-day starters.