As the second half of the MLB season gets underway, the trade rumor mill will start churning at full force with the July 31 trade deadline rapidly approaching.
Teams caught in no-man's land will soon be forced to decide if they are buyers or sellers and, if they are sellers, which big-name players they are willing to trade.
The New York Mets, however, are in a position that they know they are sellers heading into the trade deadline, as they currently sport a record of 39-47 and find themselves in fourth place in the National League East division, 12 games behind the first-place Washington Nationals.
Now, the only question is if they're willing to trade star right-handed pitcher Jacob deGrom, as the talented hurler is drawing interest from a number of teams.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Houston Astros, who currently have the best record in the American League at 60-29, are very interested in deGrom if they can get him for a lower price than the Chicago White Sox are asking for Jose Quintana:
"The price for Quintana is high enough that the Astros are looking elsewhere, having known to have called on [Atlanta Braves pitcher Julio] Teheran and even Mets star Jacob deGrom, as Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated and MLB Network first reported," Heyman writes. "And word is, the Astros don’t actually see Quintana as an ace at this point. The Yankees, who once had Quintana in their system, may like him a bit more."
For a Mets' rotation that has dealt with a rash of injuries this year, deGrom has been a lone bright spot. In 17 starts, he has a 9-3 record to go with a 3.65 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 111 innings of work.
Meanwhile, the rest of New York's star-studded rotation, including Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and others, have dealt with injuries and ineffectiveness all year long, making deGrom's durability even more valuable to the team.
The Mets are only two years removed from their most-recent World Series appearance and made the postseason last year as one of the NL's two wildcard teams, so their disappointing start to the 2017 season is a bit surprising.
Still, on a roster that has some aging veterans filling key spots alongside talented young players, the Mets may be at a bit of a crossroads.
If they decide they will trade deGrom before this year's trade deadline, it's likely they can add a couple of top prospects to their farm system in exchange for the talented righty, whether he goes to the Astros or some other team with a chance to win the World Series.
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