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Report: Mets May Request Andrew Benintendi If Red Sox Want Edwin Diaz

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Mets, at this point in time (and most points in time, really), could best be described as unpredictable. Sitting far out of the NL Wild Card race, the Mets nevertheless went out and acquired starter Marcus Stroman from Toronto. At the same time, they've reportedly contemplated trading away starters Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler.

Long story short, it's difficult to tell exactly what the Mets are trying to do.

And so, with the Red Sox reportedly in hot pursuit of Edwin Diaz, the Mets are apparently not afraid to put a hefty price tag on their closer, who's having a very bad season.

ESPN's Buster Olney said on "Get Up" on Tuesday that the Mets may be asking for Andrew Benintendi or Jackie Bradley jr. in any trade involving Diaz.

"[The Mets are] looking for a return of guys who can help in the big leagues right now," Olney explained.

"I think the Red Sox, knowing that the Mets are looking to add players that could help them in 2020, they may have to make a decision," Olney added. "Do we give up Andrew Benintendi -- a true center fielder -- in a deal for Diaz? It would be fascinating to see if the Mets were to get Benintendi and if the Red Sox could get Diaz."

Olney noted that he has not heard that the Red Sox would part ways with Benintendi, but stated that the team has considered the possibility of moving Jackie Bradley Jr. if it was necessary to acquire Diaz.

"I don't know if they would [trade Benintendi], but I think that's what the Mets' asking price is going to be," Olney explained. "The Red Sox have also talked about maybe putting Jackie Bradley Jr. instead of Benintendi [on the block]."2

Benintendi, still just 25, is hitting .280 with 10 home runs, 28 doubles and an .810 OPS this season. Those numbers are right in line with his career batting average (.281) and OPS (.807). He's not set to become a free agent until 2023.

Diaz, 25, has had a difficult time following up his 57-save season since being traded to the Mets in the offseason. In 44 appearances this season, he's posted a 4.95 ERA and a 1.450 WHIP, just one year after posting a 1.96 ERA and 0.791 WHIP. He's recorded 23 saves but has blown four, matching his total for blown saves last year. Yet given his history on the field and the fact that Alex Cora knows him well after managing him in the World Baseball Classic, and given the Red Sox' own bullpen woes, the team's interest in the reliever, who despite the bad results is still averaging 97.6 mph on his fastball this season.

Diaz, like Benintendi, is not set to become a free agent until 2023.

This high asking price might explain why Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday morning that the Red Sox are now an unlikely match for the Mets in a deal for Diaz.

With a little over a day remaining before the 4 p.m. trade deadline hits on Wednesday, the two sides may be dancing in an effort to make the other blink.

Olney noted that the Dodgers and Rays are also in pursuit of Diaz, while stating that one way or another, Diaz is "going to move."

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