Yahoo Sports will be examining the Mets’ options at the trade deadline. Here’s the second piece on the players who could be traded before the July 31 deadline.
3B Todd Frazier (.776 OPS, 12 HRs, 36 RBIs)
2019 Salary: $9 million
Possible Fits: Rays, Twins, Indians, Braves, Brewers, Rockies
Frazier never did move to the bench — even though, earlier this year, it seemed imminent.
After starting the season in the injured list (oblique) and getting off to a slow start when he came back (.423 OPS on May 15), the 33-year-old veteran found his swing in June, fending off J.D. Davis and Jed Lowrie (who hasn’t played this season due to myriad injuries) in the process.
During the month, Frazier posted a .931 OPS with eight homers and 23 RBIs, proving that he still has some pop in his bat (even though he's started July off in a 5-for-28 slide).
Frazier could be a strong corner infielder/designated hitter option for AL teams, and a proven righty bat off the bench for NL teams (.971 OPS versus lefties in 68 plate appearances in 2019).
The Mets have gotten hits on Frazier, per Yahoo sources, though fans shouldn't expect a hefty return for a solid role player to a contender on an expiring deal.
SP Jason Vargas (3-5, 4.23 ERA, 76.2 IP)
2019 Salary: $8 million
Possible Fits: Rays, Rangers, Phillies, Brewers
Vargas looked done on April 13, when he was shelled in relief, and his ERA ballooned to 14.21.
But the 36-year-old southpaw was able to right the ship from there, putting up an 11-start stretch in which he posted a 2.55 ERA while holding the opposition to a .198 batting average.
Despite having the slowest fastball in the majors, Vargas has managed to beat both the Dodgers and Yankees. Vargas did struggle in his last start, however, as he was pummeled by the Marlins for six runs in five innings
Vargas also has a $2 million buyout for next season ($8 million team option). The Mets were upset with Vargas after he physically threatened a reporter but failed to apologize, and seem ready to move on.
Like Frazier, the veteran Vargas has gotten hits from other teams, but won't merit a significant return in a deal.
CF Juan Lagares (.494 OPS, 2 HRs, 15 RBIs)
2019 Salary: $9 million
Possible Fits: Twins, Indians, Phillies, Nationals
This season has been a massive disappointment for Lagares. He's never been known for his bat (1 for his last 21 in his last 15 games), but 2019 has surprisingly proved to be a struggle for Lagares in the field as well (negative-six defensive runs saved).
Perhaps a team elects to take a chance on Lagares — that he can rediscover his defensive prowess as a late-game option.
INF Adeiny Hechavarria (.686 OPS, 5 HRs, 17 RBIs)
2019 Salary: $3 million
Possible Fits: Astros, Nationals, Phillies, Rockies
When the struggling Robinson Cano went down again with a quad injury, Hechavarria stepped up in a big way, having a tremendous stretch at the end of May (3 HRs, 12 RBIs from the 24th to 31st). His bat has largely regressed to the mean afterwards, but his glove has remained steady at multiple positions.
Given that, Hechavarria could be attractive as a depth piece.
LHP: Luis Avilan (1-0, 8.74 ERA, 11.1 IP)
2019 Salary: $1.6 million
Possible Fits: Phillies, Nationals, Brewers
It hasn't been a good year for Avilan (17 hits, five walks), who has battled an elbow injury for much of 2019. Righties have posted a 1.128 OPS against him in 39 plate appearances.
Granted, lefties have two hits in 16 plate appearances. Lefties also have a .580 career OPS against Avilan, which could entice some team to take a flier.
Yahoo sources indicated recently the Mets hadn’t gotten any hits on Hechavarria or Avilan, though that could change.