No doubt, the 2019 season has been a disappointment for the New York Mets. They fancied themselves contenders heading into the season, and instead they came into Thursday's action nine games under .500 and eight games out of a postseason spot. The Mets are expected to be active sellers before next week's trade deadline, with rental players Todd Frazier, Zack Wheeler, and Jason Vargas most likely to be move.
Yes, the Mets have been open to dealing Diaz, according to sources. This is not out of a desire to get rid of him but rather a desire not to potentially shut out avenues by which they can improve a moribund team. They'll do it, but only if they hit a home run.
"I love being a Met," he said. "If something were to ever change, it'd be definitely bittersweet just because of New York City itself, the fan base and just the guys in this clubhouse have a special place in my heart."
At the moment both Syndergaard's and Diaz's trade value is down. Syndergaard took a 4.36 ERA into Wednesday's start, which is six percent below league average once adjusted for ballpark. Diaz has had a near disaster season, pitching to a 4.81 ERA.
That said, Syndergaard and Diaz are both in the top one percent of the league in terms of raw stuff and overall potential. Syndergaard has pitched like an ace in the past and Diaz was the best reliever in baseball as recently as last season.
Furthermore, Syndergaard is under team control through 2021 and Diaz is under team control through 2022. They are primed-aged All-Star talents who are under long-term control. Even during down years, they are awfully desirable.
The Mets went all-in this past offseason, so turning around and selling at the deadline would seem odd, but there is precedent. The Padres went all-in on 2015, realized it was a mistake, then sold the following year. The Mets could do the same.
The question is the asking price. The Mets won't trade either player at a discount, and chances are they will seek more in return for Diaz than they gave up (top 100 prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn). That'll be a tough sell to interested teams.
Of course, listening to offers and actively shopping a player are different things. Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't listen. Finding a team to meet the asking price is another matter entirely.