It was, from the outside, a quiet day in Las Vegas for the second day of baseball’s winter meetings. Not much stirring; a chilly day in the desert. But inside? Oh, inside, that stove is red fucking hot.
Let’s warm it up gradually so you don’t get burned. It’s not news that the Mets have their eye on J.T. Realmuto, the league’s best-hitting catcher, but previously the Mets had been turned off by the Marlins’ sizable demands for him.
It’s also not new news that the Yankees like Noah Syndergaard; what team wouldn’t? But the Wilpons have historically shied away from trading directly with the Yankees, whom they consider rivals.
But ... put this all together, and mix in new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen, who with his acquisition of Robinson Cano has shown he’s willing to get creative, and what’s the next logical step?
Oh hell yes.
This will almost certainly not happen. There are too many reasons, too many roadblocks. It’s “smoke and not a lot of fire,” according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. But: there’s an awful lot of smoke. The Post reports a three-way deal has been discussed. The Daily News too. Yahoo Sports. The Athletic. SNY. If this trade isn’t actually going to get done, the teams involved are at least definitely discussing what it would look like.
And what would it look like? The big hold-up on a simple Mets-Marlins deal has been that New York was reportedly unwilling to include shortstop prospect Amed Rosario, and to send off both outfielders Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo. Without them, and with the top of their farm system raided by the Mariners, it’d be incumbent on the Yankees to provide the young players to satisfy the Marlins’ demands. That’d likely include infielder Miguel Andujar, and perhaps outfielder Clint Frazier, whose immediate future is as trade bait. But that’d leave the Yankees with an even bigger hole in their infield; perhaps they’d want to up the ante and see what it’d take to get Rosario from the Mets? (Or, perhaps it’d seal their commitment to signing Manny Machado.) And the Mets aren’t going to move Syndergaard without getting a starting pitcher in return—maybe they’d want Sonny Gray, if the Yankees paid a chunk of his salary? You see how many moving parts there are here.
So for now, this is basically fantasy. But that’s all right. That’s what hot stove season is about. The winter meetings have three more days to go. Let’s get as weird as possible.