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Heyman | Rivals dubious Mets will deal deGrom or Syndergaard

Jon Heyman

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Sep 30, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (L) and pitcher Jacob deGrom (R) share a light moment before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

People with both teams see a trade of one of the New York Mets’ two star starters – especially ace Jacob deGrom – as a major, major long shot. But if the Mets were to discuss deGrom, for instance, with the Yankees, they’d insist on Gleyber Torres.

And guess what: The Yankees wouldn’t trade Torres to the Mets – or anyone else, for that matter.

“I can’t see how we’d do it without Torres,” one Mets person said. (Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he can’t trade Torres since he still has to walk around in the city.)

“We’d have to get something pretty good and someone pretty close,” another Mets person said in answer to a question whether they’d need an impact young star who’s a sure thing (i.e. Torres) or might accept a package of four good-but-not-great-chip guys.

The Mets have understandably put a higher price on deGrom, who leads the NL in ERA and has been one of the top three or four pitchers in the game this year, than they have on the flashier, harder-throwing Noah Syndergaard, who also happens to have an extra year of control – three years as opposed to two.  That makes sense. The pitcher who’s been lights out should have more value than the one who has an extra year of control.

“DeGrom is higher,” one person in the know said of the respective price tags.

DeGrom, rightly, just might have the highest price tag of anyone on the market. While Manny Machado is a bigger name, has done more and is younger, he’s also a rental. DeGrom is under control through 2020. Also, unlike Syndergaard, who’s had issues with nagging injuries, and is currently out with a finger ailment, he is extremely reliable.

The Mets have been calling around over the past couple days, and in general admit now that “selling is more likely than buying,” though they are likely to wait a little longer to see where things stand. In their calls, they are also finding interest in Zack Wheeler, which makes sense for teams that want to hold onto their very top prospects. (As Mike Puma of the New York Post suggested, some also think the Mets could just be floating the stars with the intention to deal Wheeler, who’s been hitting 99 mph lately but has yet to reach expectations after being a chapter in GM Sandy Alderson’s book).

In a thin market, he may be prove to be a semi valuable piece, as well. There hasn’t been as much talk about Steve Matz, who’s said to be in “a great place” right now, which apparently means Queens, too.

The more Mets people think about it, the less inclined they may ultimately be to trade one of their big two. The duo helped carry the team into the World Series in 2015, and Mets people still believe there’s a major advantage to having a great one-two punch, especially if you can somehow sneak into the playoffs, even as a wild card.

The more likely scenario has the Mets trading their free-agents-to-be: closer Jeurys Familia, second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera and lefty reliever Jeremy Blevins. But it’s fun to dream, anyway.

Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for FanRag Sports, featuring breaking news, information and his Inside Baseball column, which appears on FanRagSports.com every Thursday. Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009 and is a regular contributor to WFAN in New York, where he appears weekly on the Joe and Evan Show and previously appeared on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show. He also appears on WSCR in Chicago, WBZ-FM in Boston and the Petros and Money Show on Fox in Los Angeles. Heyman comes to FanRag Sports from CBSSports.com, where he worked for five years and wrote the popular Inside Baseball notes column. Before going to CBS, Heyman worked for five years at Sports Illustrated and SI.com, where he was a senior writer and started an Inside Baseball Column. Heyman worked for 16 years at Newsday in New York, where he was the Yankees beat writer, a baseball columnist and finally a general sports columnist. Heyman started his career at the Moline (Ill.) Daily Dispatch, then moved to the Los Angeles Copley Newspapers (Torrance Daily Breeze and Santa Monica Outlook) before going to Newsday. Heyman at one time also served as a national baseball writer for The Sporting News. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, N.M. native grew up in Cedarhurst, N.Y., on Long Island.

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