By Zach Gewelb
As the Winter Meetings progressed, rumors began circulating that the Yankees and Mets were discussing a potential three-team trade with the Marlins that would send Noah Syndergaard to the Yankees, JT Realmuto to the Mets and prospects — or possibly Miguel Andujar — to Miami.
While, in theory, this would be an intriguing idea, there seems to be too many obstacles to overcome in such a trade, making this scenario an unlikely one.
First, the Yankees and Mets don’t trade with each other.
The last time the teams made a trade was in 2004, when the clubs swapped Mike Stanton for Felix Heredia.
The New York teams discussed trades for Neil Walker and Jay Bruce in 2017, but could not make things work. But there seems to be a new era in Queens, one in which Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has said he will be aggressive and bold; this three-team deal would certainly qualify.
But one of the reasons the Walker and Bruce trades fell through in 2017 was that the Wilpons did not want to send any pieces to the Bronx that would help the Yankees win the World Series.
Walker and Bruce were depth pieces on expiring contracts and the Wilpons still would not approve any deal with the Yankees. Syndergaard is a completely different story.
Syndergaard would slot in at the top of the Yankees’ rotation and still has three years of team control remaining.
He’s a cost-controlled ace, and — unlike Bruce and Walker — he would drastically improve the Yankees’ World Series chances.
So while Van Wagenen may have more freedom to make his bold moves, it would be hard to imagine the Wilpons signing off on a deal that would send the marketable ace across town to the Yankees.
Beyond the whole Yankees-Mets angle to all this, the rumored swap doesn’t make a whole lot of baseball sense for the Mets.
Van Wagenen has said he wants to add to his team’s core rather than remove pieces. Trading Syndergaard for multiple high-ceiling players who are big-league ready — which was rumored earlier in the offseason — would make sense.
Yes, the Mets would be losing a top-notch pitcher, but moving him to fill multiple holes on the big league roster is different than moving him for just one, no matter how good Realmuto is.
While the three-team trade rumors seem to be dying down, the Mets are still interested in acquiring Realmuto in a traditional trade with Miami.
They might have to part with Amed Rosario, Micahel Conforto, or Brandon Nimmo to make it happen — but losing either of those would be an easier pill to swallow as opposed to losing Syndergaard to the Yankees.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe