Grades for each NL East team’s trade deadline

The Atlanta Braves have the biggest division lead in baseball. Did the rest of the NL East do enough to flirt with closing that gap? At the very least did the teams improve enough to secure a potential wild card berth? Let’s look at every trade made and hand out some grades.

New York Mets v Houston Astros
New York Mets v Houston Astros / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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New York Mets: B

Had you told me in March the Mets would be selling at the 2023 deadline there is no way I would have believed you. Even as LOL METS as it would have seemed, I would’ve had a hard time believing a 100 win team would fall that far.

Well, it’s August and guess what happened? More than a few Mets hitters saw their crazy BABIP driven 2022 season flip upside down in 2023. A rash of injuries and just some flat out underperformance and bad luck has resulted in the team with the largest payroll in baseball history having a hard to swallow garage sale at the deadline. Frank was right.

The Metropolitans started the sale by moving David Robertson to another NL East rival. The return for the reliever was a solid one in two prospects under 20 years-old. The headliner was Marco Vargas, an 18 year-old infielder out of Mexico. Vargas is linked to having great plate discipline for someone his age. The Mets also recieved Ronald Hernandez, a Venezuelan born switch-hitting catcher, who already does a good job of cutting down base stealers.

New York really had the first Passan bomb of the deadline on July 30th when they traded Max Scherzer to Texas for the Luisangel Acuña, younger brother of Braves star, Ronald Acuña Jr. I suppose this means we're in for a divisional sibling rivalry.

The Mets will have to cover a lot of Scherzer’s deal but getting (now the Mets 2nd best prospect) for a 39 year-old 0.8 fWAR pitcher is a job well done. New York dealt their first position player, when they traded outfielder Mark Canha to Milwaukee for RHP Justin Jarvis.

Jarvis, a 2018 fifth round pick, has already reached Triple-A and provides the Mets with some starting pitching depth. Right now he doesn’t project much more than a back of the rotation arm.

The big piece that seemed to be holding the final day of the MLB trade deadline up was veteran pitcher Justin Verlander. The Mets dealt JV back to Houston on August 1st in exchange for the Astros top prospect, Drew Gilbert, and Ryan Clifford. Mark Feinsand gives the details of how the Mets and Astros will divide Verlander’s contract below.

Gilbert was the first round selection of the Astros in 2022, after having an impressive season with the Tennessee Volunteers. He is a 5’9 left-handed hitting outfielder who plays the game very aggressively. MLB Pipeline gives him an overall of 55 in their scouting grade.

Clifford is an impressive looking 20 year-old who possesses some interesting raw power. He’s a big kid, listed at 6’3, 200 lbs and already has 19 homers in 2023. The powerful lefty does struggle at time recognizing offspeed pitches however.

The last two deals the Mets made were more of the lottery ticket variety hoping to hit on a couple young infielders. The first is Jermey Rodriguez, whom they got from Arizona in exchange for Tommy Pham. The second is Jeremiah Jackson, whom they recieved from the Angles in exchange for Dominic Leone.

2023 wasn’t the season the Mets were hoping for, but it also wasn’t the worst one to have to sell in. The sellers market allowed the Mets to get some exciting pieces back and let the front office spend the rest of the year deciding how to approach 2024.