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The Mets Should Not Trade Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets Should Not Trade Justin Verlander

The 2023 MLB trade deadline has arrived, and the New York Mets are in a precarious position. The Mets sit at 50-55 on the season, 6.5 games back from the final National League Wild Card spot. It seems as if the Mets have already declared that they are selling this season.

They’ve already moved closer David Robertson to the Marlins and traded starting pitcher Max Scherzer to the Rangers. By far the biggest name remaining for a potential trade on this Mets team is Justin Verlander.

Mets general manager Billy Eppler is stressing that New York is not planning on a firesale this deadline. They’re planning on growing the farm system while also not “punting for 2024.”

After seeing New York trade away one of their veteran aces in Scherzer, the market for Verlander began to grow even more than it already had. Teams like the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers have been reportedly pushing hard for the ex-Cy Young’s services.

Verlander should not be moved, partially due to his contract situation. The right-handed veteran will be under full team control for the 2024 season with no opt-out. Aside from that, Verlander has been elite recently for the Mets. Over his last seven starts, he has a 1.43 ERA. He has drawn his season ERA all the way down from 4.50 to 3.15. We didn’t see that kind of improvement from Scherzer, which is maybe one of the reasons the Mets decided to move on from him. It seems as if Verlander has finally found his groove with the Mets, following an April injury and a few rough starts.

The Mets are going to need Verlander for the 2024 season if they want to remain competitive. Do not trade him unless you get an offer you can’t refuse. An offer that the Mets could accept would have to be one with multiple top 10, likely top five prospects, including MLB-ready pitchers. I don’t envision anyone mustering up what the Mets asking price will be.

It seems that Verlander wants to stay in New York as well:

“I’m focused on being a Met,” he said after his start vs. the Yankees in late July. “That’s why I signed here. I want to win here. It hasn’t gone according to plan just yet, but I didn’t sign a one-year deal. So there’s that.”

The Mets shouldn’t trade Justin Verlander unless they get a ridiculous offer that they can’t refuse. I don’t think that that happens for the Mets by this deadline, and Verlander needs to be a part of New York’s 2024 plans.

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