Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom

Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports

Levine's MLB Notes: Buyers Eyeing Mets' Aces

Teams are setting their sights on deGrom, Syndrgaard as July 31 approaches.

Bruce Levine
July 05, 2018 - 3:43 pm

(670 The Score) As the non-waiver trade deadline approaches on July 31, much of the focus has turned to the embattled Mets. Will they make the moves to tank, begin an on-the-fly rebuilding process or keep the status quo?

As a big-market club, the Mets may not want to emulate what the Astros and Cubs did with rebuilds that lasted around four to five seasons before the playoff payoff came. What may be more appealing is a quick offloading of talent to pump up their farm system, much like the Yankees did in 2016. The marketplace could go a long way in determining the Mets' decision. What would right-hander Jacob deGrom and right-hander Noah Syndergaard fetch on the trade market? 

DeGrom has been sensational this season, with an MLB-best 1.84 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and an 11.2 strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate in 17 starts. He's under contract control through 2020.

The hard-throwing Syndergaard has a lifetime 2.92 ERA but has made just 18 starts since the start of 2017. His durability is a concern, as he's currently on the disabled list with a strained finger ligament. Syndergaard is under contract control through 2021.

Teams will likely have to give up more than the usual market value to acquire one of the Mets' aces. The team's newly structured front office may also may be willing to wait until the offseason trade market to move one. It's far easier to acquire big league talent in the offseason than during the season from a contending team.

Could Richards be this year's Verlander?

The Angels are losing ground and could be dumping some players. Injury-prone ace Garrett Richards could be a nice piece for the Dodgers, Nationals, Cubs or Yankees as a two-month rental.

The 30-year-old Richards has been healthy for most of this season and registered a 3.42 ERA with a 10.5-strikeout-per-nine-innings rate. Strikeout pitchers are ideal for clubs looking for difference-makers during the pennant runs in September.

In that regard, nobody had a greater impact in 2017 or recent years than Justin Verlander, who went 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in the homestretch of the regular season after the Astros traded for him from the Tigers. Verlander then went 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in the playoffs to help lead Houston to the World Series title

Enthusiasm running high

Comedian/actor Jeff Garlin told me Sunday that Cubs manager Joe Maddon will definitely be featured in an upcoming "Curb Your Enthusiasm" segment for its new season.

"We had it set for him to do a show in 2016, but the schedules didn't sync up," Garlin said. "We will be beginning production in the fall this time around. We will get him in."

A late 2018 or early 2019 date could be ideal to fulfill a Curb episode agreement, Maddon said. Maddon doesn't know if he would be in character or not in the show.

"I am pumped up about it regardless," Maddon said.

A Chicago native, Garlin also said he bought Bears season tickets on the 50-yard line for next season. Garlin hopes to attend three games and share the rest with friends, family or StubHub.

Yosh toast

The late Yosh Kawano, the longtime Cubs clubhouse man, will be honored on July 22 with an invitation-only event at Harry Carey's restaurant. Longtime friends Carl and Tony Ruzicka along with Harry Caray's owner Grant DePorter  are setting the wheels in motion for the event.

Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Cubs owner Tom Ricketts are among guests invited and expected to raise a glass to the man who saw it all for 65 years in the inner circle of Cubs baseball. Kawano passed away on June 25 at 97.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.