Mets Mailbag: Cubs questions galore ahead of 2021 MLB trade deadline

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Kris Bryant batting helmet on in dugout, smiling
Kris Bryant batting helmet on in dugout, smiling

SNY's Andy Martino will be responding to and breaking down answers to questions from readers. Here's the latest...

With the Cubs turning into sellers most likely, do you see the Mets putting a package together that includes J.D. Davis, [Ronny] Mauricio, [Khalil] Lee for [Kris] Bryant? Or could the Mets sweep up [Craig] Kimbrel to bolster up the bullpen more? -- @adam_tobey88

We received several questions about the Cubbies, so it seemed like the day for a general discussion on that topic. The Athletic just reported that Chicago is in sell mode, which is understandable given their 11-game losing streak.

That’s a major deal for their fan base, which is about to experience a wrenching breakup of the group that made dreams come true. But for the Mets, it’s an opportunity to capitalize.

To recap a bit of recent history between the clubs: The Mets called the Cubs last winter to discuss Bryant. Davis came up in talks, as did catching prospect Francisco Alvarez. Cubs sources later called the talks extremely preliminary -- “they didn’t get out of the first inning,” in the words of one official -- while Mets folks felt they were a bit more concrete.

The versatile Bryant currently fits the Mets’ desires; as previously reported, if New York upgrades its offense, it considers third base the most likely place to do it. Bryant brings additional positional versatility.

It’s not out of the question that the Mets can rent Bryant for half a season without sacrificing their best prospects. Trade deadline bats do not tend to cost that. Look at what the Dodgers paid for then-Orioles star Manny Machado in 2018: Five prospects, none of whom projects as a star in the big leagues. It was quantity over quality.

Looking at other potentially available Cubs, Kimbrel will probably cost more prospects than the Mets want to trade. Zach Davies would fill a rotation need, though the Mets won’t know how deep that need is until they see Carlos Carrasco pitch (and there’s growing optimism inside the organization that Carrasco will be healthy for the second half).

Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez are not positional fits. Joc Pederson could make a lot of sense in New York, but for the Yankees.

It should be emphasized that the Cubs sale is in its early phases. That’s why we have more speculation and logic than concrete information in this report. Teams are currently wrapped up in preparations for this weekend’s amateur draft above all other tasks.

But obviously, Mets/Cubbies talk is a space to watch over the next few weeks.