(CBS) It was just last week that Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer conceded that a trade of prospects with the Mets will "happen at some point," given the two teams' respective talent surpluses. Chicago's farm system is stocked with quality young hitters, including several middle infielders, while New York boasts some of baseball's best pitching prospects in the minor leagues.
Both need what the other has. So what's the holdup?
Part of the reason appears to be the Mets' reluctance to make big splashes on the trade market, CBSSports.com MLB insider Jon Heyman said in an interview on the Mully and Hanley Show on Monday morning.
Simply put, under fifth-year general manager Sandy Alderson, the Mets haven't don't have a history of making high-risk, flashy trades.
"They're thinking about it all the time," Heyman said of a Cubs-Mets potential trade. "It's been well-documented that the Mets are a team they match up with with them. I don't know that the Mets are the easiest team to deal with, though. They don't make a lot of deals. Not a lot of impact deals. The deals they have made are old veterans for prospects, so this would be an interesting deal, prospect for prospect-type deal."
Entering this season, four of New York's top nine prospects as ranked by Baseball America were pitchers. Since then, hard-throwing right-handed starter Noah Syndergaard and right-handed reliever Rafael Montero have made their major league debut, with Syndergaard looking especially promising.
Behind them, left-hander Steven Matz is in Triple-A and right-hander Marcos Molina is in high Class-A. Another young Mets pitcher, Zack Wheeler, is out for the season after having Tommy John surgery.
The Mets have long been in search of a dependable shortstop. The Cubs have Starlin Castro as their everyday shortstop now, with Addison Russell's future likely lying there as well as he bides his time at second base. Down at Triple-A Iowa, middle infielder Javier Baez has shown power and promise but also a penchant for striking out too often.
"The Mets have that really great young pitching," Heyman said. "I don't think they'll give up Syndergaard, and they may not give up Steven Matz, the lefty. But they have many other pitching prospects. It would be natural to try for the Cubs and Mets to make some sort of deal, because if you look at the Cubs' ledger, probably nine out of of their top 10 prospects are position players. And on the Mets side, it's probably just the opposite (with a pitcher surplus). So it would probably be smart for those two teams to keep talking and balance it out a little bit.
"The Cubs are dealers. They're a team willing to deal. But it takes two to tango."
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