The offseason to date has been peppered with rumors that the New York Mets, despite clear designs on contending in 2019, are open to trading right-hander Noah Syndergaard. At the same time, trade rumors continue to swirl about Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, who's been coveted by many teams ever since the Marlins began trading away veterans last offseason. Perhaps those two major pieces will be part of a blockbuster three-way trade that also involves the New York Yankees? Here's the rumor of note:
There have been discussions, a source confirms, on a potential 3-way trade between the Mets, Yankees and Marlins that would bring J.T. Realmuto to Flushing and could send Noah Syndergaard to the Bronx.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) December 11, 2018
And some additional context:
#Mets discussing multiple two- and three-team scenarios involving Realmuto and others, sources say. Team continues to place premium on their SP; would move Syndergaard only for big return. Tyson Ross signed today for $5.75M. Syndergaard will not cost much more in 2019.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2018
Source: Noah Syndergaard to Yankees is a real possibility but there are “10 other scenarios” Mets are considering— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) December 11, 2018
The Mets have a clear need at catcher, and Realmuto is perhaps the best catcher in baseball right now.
All of that is in addition to his plus defense behind the plate. The 27-year-old Realmuto also isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season.
The Marlins obviously want a hefty return for Realmuto, and that's presumably where the Yankees come in. They have a stronger young talent base than the Mets do, and they can put together a package that could give the Marlins what they're looking for. It seems likely that Miguel Andujar would be involved as part of it.
At the same time, the Yankees are looking to add another starting pitcher to the fold, especially since Sonny Gray is almost certain to be traded this winter. Syndergaard certainly fits the bill. The 26-year-old right-hander is one of the hardest throwers in the game, and he boasts a career ERA+ of 132 and a K/BB ratio of 4.94 across parts of four big-league seasons. His problem has been injuries -- only once has Syndergaard managed to log a qualifying number of innings in a season. Framed another way, though, he's topped 150 innings in three of his four seasons, so perhaps the reward outweighs the risk.
While new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has been hellbent on contention since taking the reins, the sight of Syndergaard in Yankee pinstripes would surely be jarring and unpopular for Mets fans. That said, if Van Wagenen is going to turn an 85-loss team into a contender in the increasingly tough NL East, then additional boldness (recall that he's already traded for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz) is in order.
This, if nothing else, qualifies as bold.