Mets close out deadline with two final deals
New York has dealt Dominic Leone to the Angels for a prospect while acquiring relievers Phil Bickford and Adam Kolarek in a separate trade with the Dodgers.
Just when you thought the Mets might be done, they squeezed in not one but two trades that trickled in after the 6:00 PM deadline.
In the first move, New York traded relief pitcher Dominic Leone to the Angels in exchange for minor league infielder Jeremiah Jackson, according to the New York Post.
Jackson, 23, is a former second round pick of Billy Eppler’s and was the No. 9 ranked prospect in Anaheim’s system (though it should be noted that the Angels currently have one of baseball’s lowest ranked farm systems). In 82 games in Double-A, Jackson is hitting .248/.321/.447 with 15 home runs, 15 doubles, 56 RBI, 46 runs scored, 21 stolen bases and a .768 OPS this season.
Leone had some solid moments out of the Mets bullpen but was ultimately an average and inconsistent reliever, pitching to a 4.40 ERA in 31 appearances this season. Despite the Angels’ poor farm system, it is still surprising to see that the Mets were able to get any sort of ranked prospect with upside in return for a reliever the likes of Leone.
In their final trade deadline move, the Mets acquired relief pitchers Phil Bickford and Adam Kolarek from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, according to Fansided.
Bickford, 28, was a key piece of the Dodgers bullpen in the 2021 season but has since fallen on hard times and was designated for assignment over this weekend after pitching to a 5.14 ERA over 36 appearances. Kolarek, 34, was similarly dominant for Los Angeles in the recent past, pitching to a 0.95 ERA in 2020, but has made just 28 appearances in the big leagues in the three years since. Kolarek has pitched just 1.1 innings in the majors this season, but has made 33 appearances in Triple-A while posting a 2.40 ERA.
The latter of these deadline moves is nothing to write home about but makes sense for New York, who will need arms to fill up innings for the remainder of the season. With Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, David Robertson and even Dominic Leone now out of the picture, there are plenty of innings that are going to need to be covered by someone. With no more waiver trade deadline in August, these will be the final additions the Mets would be able to make shy of signing recently released or DFA’d pitchers down the stretch of the season.
And with that marks the end of an incredibly busy and impactful few days for this Mets organization. After going for it full throttle this past offseason, New York’s brass was able to acknowledge that it wasn’t working and quickly pivoted, rather than doubling down on their mistakes. With that, in the last five days alone, the Mets have parted ways with Scherzer, Robertson, Verlander, Mark Canha, Tommy Pham and Dominic Leone, after trading away Eduardo Escobar just a few weeks earlier, thus changing the trajectory and calculus for this team for quite some time.
In the aftermath, there will be plenty to breakdown and digest from these five days that forever altered the Mets organization. Right now, though, the smoke has still yet to clear.