Sources: Mets considering third base upgrades, including Josh Donaldson

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Josh Donaldson with Twins smiles while rounding bases on homer 2021
Josh Donaldson with Twins smiles while rounding bases on homer 2021

The Mets are focusing on third base as the position to upgrade their struggling offense at the trade deadline, according to league sources.

The team has engaged in very preliminary talks with the Minnesota Twins, who might trade Josh Donaldson. Those conversations have not yet progressed, but Donaldson is a possibility for the Mets.

It’s not yet clear if the Chicago Cubs are going to sell, but the Mets have also been interested in Kris Bryant since the offseason.

Two factors will complicate the Mets’ efforts to make an impactful trade: They are not interested in trading the few top prospects they have in their system, according to sources. And they still prefer to remain under the $210 million luxury tax. By their internal calculations they are less than $10 million shy of that number.

Donaldson is in the second season of a four-year, $92 million contract. Adding him would push the Mets over the luxury tax, unless they can unload other salaries in a deal.

It’s worth noting that team president Sandy Alderson already convinced owner Steve Cohen to exceed the threshold once before, in attempting to sign free agent pitcher Trevor Bauer.

The Mets could also look for pitching, though their stance on keeping prospects will make it almost impossible to land a frontline pitcher. Carlos Carrasco is said to finally be progressing nicely from his hamstring injury; if he can return this month, the Mets will have a much clearer picture of their rotation needs.