When the New York Mets traded for Daniel Vogelbach over a week before the MLB Trade Deadline, they had no intentions of ending their pursuit of players who could help put the finishing touches on their roster and help lead them to a deep playoff run.
Michael Perez, C
On July 23, the Mets acquired catcher Michael Perez from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash considerations. Perez was DFA'd by the Pirates a few days prior. Perez, who the Mets have stashed in Triple-A since the trade, provides solid defense behind the dish. He is slashing .150/.209/.318 with six home runs and 11 runs batted in this season.
Perez could join the Mets roster due to the team's thin catching depth. The catchers currently on the Mets roster have performed at a less than ideal level thus far. Tomas Nido, the team's starting catcher as of late, is slashing a lousy .216/.265/.247 with no home runs over 190 at-bats this season.
James McCann will most likely take over as the club's lead catcher following his return from the IL. It is unclear when that will be. In the meantime, Perez will serve as a solid depth piece at a weak position for the Mets.
Tyler Naquin, OF
The Mets were not done looking at left-handed bats after bringing in Vogelbach. Mets' left-handed hitters have an OPS of just .735 this season. Naquin should help bring that number up. During his time in Cincinnati this season, Naquin slashed .246/..305/.444 with seven home runs and 33 runs batted in.
Naquin will join the Mets corner outfield shuffle that includes Mark Canha and Startling Marte. He could also see time at DH against right-handed pitching, but Vogelbach should absorb most of the starts there.
Naquin will also provide the Mets with much-needed bench depth. He could be the first batter off the bench in a pinch, with multiple role players like Dominic Smith and Luis Guillorme scuffling on offense.
Darin Ruf, 1B/DH
It was believed that the Mets could have been in play for bigger named designated hitters such as Boston's J.D. Martinez, or Trey Mancini, who Baltimore dealt to Houston. Instead, the Mets ended up with Ruf, who comes with two extra years of control.
Despite being 35 years of age, Ruf has been somewhat of a comeback story after being out of the league for three years before signing a contract with the San Francisco Giants in 2020. Ruf shined in 2021 with a .904 OPS but has had a down year this season, slashing just .216/.328/.373 with 11 home runs over 268 at-bats.
Still, Ruf provides the Mets with much-needed power and can join the DH carousel for not only the final two months of the season but in 2023 as well. Ruf will also serve as a valuable bat off the bench, something the Mets have desperately needed this year.
Mychal Givens, RP
The Mets went into the trade deadline hoping to add a left-handed relief pitcher to their bullpen. They weren't able to do that, but they did get a capable right-handed veteran in Givens. In 40 appearances this season for the Cubs, Givens has logged a 2.66 ERA with 51 strikeouts over 40.2 innings pitched.
Givens will give the Mets another late-inning arm who could serve as a seventh or eighth-inning setup man for closer Edwin Diaz. Givens has experience closing, picking up 31 saves in his big league career, and has pitched in the postseason during his time in Baltimore.
Will it Be Enough?
Despite being linked to big-name players such as Willson Contreras, Trey Mancini, and even Juan Soto for a brief moment, the Mets opted not to break their prospect bank and instead filled needs with cheap veterans who they believe will better suit the team for a deep playoff run.
The Mets are no doubt a better team than they were on Tuesday morning, but one has to wonder if they did enough to put the club in a position to take down the Dodgers, or even the Padres, who traded for all-stars Josh Hader and Juan Soto at the deadline.