Piecing together a trade package with the Mets for Reds starter Tyler Mahle

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (30) throws a pitch.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (30) throws a pitch. / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds struggled out of the gates, and while the team has righted the ship of late, making a run at the postseason seems like a long shot.

With the Reds virtually out of contention and so many young pitchers in the Cincinnati organization, players like Tyler Mahle are sure to garner the interest of teams looking to bolster their starting rotation.

The New York Mets have been hit hard by the injury bug of late with Max Scherzer, Tylor Megill, and Jacob deGrom all on the IL. Scherzer could miss upwards of two months and we don't yet know when deGrom will return to the Mets' rotation.

It rumored over the weekend that New York had been scouting a couple of pitchers; both Tyler Mahle and Frankie Montas have surfaced as possible trade targets for Mets GM Billy Eppler and President Sandy Alderson. What might a potential trade package between the two clubs look like?

What type of return could Reds RHP Tyler Mahle yield from the Mets?

When it comes to trade chips within the Cincinnati Reds organization, Tyler Mahle certainly is atop the list. The right-hander has had success in the majors, and while he's started slowly this season, his last two starts have been more indicative of what the California native is capable of.

Still, Mahle is not Luis Castillo and, if traded, is unlikely to help the Reds gain a Top 100 prospect. But starting pitching is always coveted, and Mahle would be a middle-of-the-rotation starter on any contending team.

Mahle is only 27 years old and is under team control through next season. Those two distinctions cannot be ignored, so Nick Krall and company cannot just give Mahle for next to nothing. Our friends over at Rising Apple, our sister site who brings fans anything and everything they wanted to know about the New York Mets, had this to say about Tyler Mahle:

"Tyler Mahle isn't proven enough for the Mets to give up anything major and his struggles this year lessen his value."

Rising Apple, FanSided

Sadly, that's a fairly accurate assessment. Mahle is just 2-4 with a 5.23 ERA and only 44 punch outs over 43 innings of work. But Mahle is coming off back-to-back starts that saw the right-hander allow just three earned runs over 12.1 innings while striking out 12 batters and walking three.

The Cincinnati Reds would do well to target a player in the New York Mets farm system who could help them in the very near future. With so much young talent in the minor leagues, Cincinnati has the opportunity to field a competitive team in 2023 and make a run at the division in 2024.

Perhaps the Reds could target a talented young outfield prospect like Khalil Lee. Once part of the Kansas City Royals organization, Lee is your classic three true outcome type of player. He's going to walk, strikeout, or hit a home run.

I'm not sure that Lee would offer enough in return for the Reds, so the Mets may have to up their offer just little bit more by adding a young pitching prospect like Mike Vasil. A teammate of Cincinnati's second-round pick from a year ago, Andrew Abbott, MLB Pipeline sees Vasil of having the potential to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

At this stage of the game, there's no rush for the Cincinnati Reds to make a deal. The urgency is with the New York Mets. So, if the Mets' front office is intent on making a trade for the Reds starter, Cincinnati's brass should get as much as possible in return.

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