Dan's Dugout: Mets Face Major Remake • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Mets Face Major Remake

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FLUSHING – Less than two weeks from now, fans of the New York Mets won’t be able to tell the players without a scorecard.

Although they won Wednesday, the Mets are so far behind in both the divisional and wild-card races that they can hardly see the leaders.

That means it’s time to shed high-priced veterans, fix the leaky infield defense, and stock the farm system with cheaper and more promising players.

Jay Bruce could move for the second year in a row Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

Jay Bruce could move for the second year in a row
Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

Among those available for trade are Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, and Neil Walker, a quartet of lefthanded hitters in various states of decline, and closer-of-the-moment Addison Reed, who’s done a worthy job filling in for the injured Jeurys Familia.

Even the Yankees, already active in the bubbling trade market, are hoping to pry a player or two loose, with speculation clearly focused on Duda and Reed.

Brian Cashman’s game plan is anyone’s guess.

He landed third baseman Todd Frazier from the Chicago White Sox mainly to keep him from the Boston Red Sox but he and closer David Robertson, also acquired from the youth-minded Sox, could be flipped again. The Yankees already have a veteran third baseman is Chase Headley and a hot young third base prospect in Ronald Torreyes.

David Robertson is a Yankee again but for how long?

David Robertson is a Yankee again but for how long?

With a bullpen anchored by Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances, it’s uncertain where Robertson fits. In fact, he could be headed to the Washington Nationals, who landed bullpen help from Oakland in Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson but still remain restless.

Like the White Sox, the Detroit Tigers want to dump high-priced vets for promising prospects. They already shipped J.D. Martinez, one of their most productive hitters, to the Arizona Diamondbacks but would make even bigger news if ace pitcher Justin Verlander followed. The Bengals even say they’ll pay part of his excessive salary.

Everybody seems to want pitching, with such names as Yu Darvish (Rangers), Jeff Samardzija (Giants), and Sonny Gray (A’s) the top starters for sale and Pat Neshek (Phillies), Reed, and even Zach Britton (Orioles) relievers on the bloc.

After missing out on Frazier, the Boston Red Sox are scouting Wilmer Flores, Asdrubal Cabrera, and T.J. Rivera as potential replacements for Pablo Sandoval, who returned to the Giants after the Sox released him.

Wilmer Flores may be headed north to Boston

Wilmer Flores may be headed north to Boston

Another slugger, Chris Carter, landed with the Oakland A’s – a sure sign that All-Star Yonder Alonso will be dealt away before he becomes a free agent.

The Yankees are interested in the wake of Greg Bird’s ankle surgery.

Which team will be most active before the month ends? We’re betting on the Miami Marlins, a team seeking to slice payroll so that it will be be more attractive to potential suitors.

Versatile infielder Martin Prado and all three outfielders, including All-Stars Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, can be had for the right price. The Phillies have already honed in on the third outfielder, rising star Christian Yelich.

Andrew McCutchen might move by July 31 Photo by Frankhyatt

Andrew McCutchen might move by July 31. Photo by Frank Hyatt

As for their Pennsylvania neighbors, the Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t yet decided about dealing former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen. He’s playing the best ball of his career but Starling Marte, back from a steroids suspension, can provide even better defense in center field — and almost as good a bat.

Not to be overlooked in the trade market is the resurgent Kansas City Royals. Once likely to unload up to a half-dozen prospective free agents, the Royals have reversed course and decided to go for a playoff spot — their third in the past four years. They’re involved in talks with the Braves over starting pitchers Julio Teheran and Jaime Garcia.

One thing’s for sure: it’s going to be a helluva interesting two weeks.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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