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Ricco: 'Everything on table' includes deGrom, Thor

Mets assistant GM doesn't rule out moving aces at Deadline
MLB.com @mattkellyMLB

Amid a disappointing season in Queens, the Mets figured to be among the most active clubs at the Trade Deadline -- with or without general manager Sandy Alderson. But when assistant GM John Ricco spoke with reporters on Wednesday for the first time in his new leadership role, that assumption was made even clearer.

In fact, Ricco suggested that even Mets star pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard might be available for the right offer.

Amid a disappointing season in Queens, the Mets figured to be among the most active clubs at the Trade Deadline -- with or without general manager Sandy Alderson. But when assistant GM John Ricco spoke with reporters on Wednesday for the first time in his new leadership role, that assumption was made even clearer.

In fact, Ricco suggested that even Mets star pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard might be available for the right offer.

"I know Sandy was on the record with one point of view," said Ricco. "We'll get together and discuss it. Those are two huge pieces for us. And we'll have to consider ... for me, everything has to be on the table, but you've got to look long and hard before you move game-changing, top-of-the-rotation pitchers like that."

Ricco is leading the Mets' baseball operations alongside Omar Minaya and J.P. Riccardi as Alderson takes an indefinite leave of absence due to a recurrence of cancer. He has been in close step with Alderson for a number of years now, while Minaya and Riccardi have accrued plenty of Deadline experience as former GMs themselves. Alderson hinted this past spring that Ricco was ready to assume New York's GM spot should his health deteriorate, and Ricco previously served as the Mets' point of contact during Alderson's first battle with cancer from 2015-16.

Ricco's close relationship with the Mets will not keep him from taking a "fresh look" at the club's position, he told reporters. After an 11-1 start, New York is currently in fourth place in the National League East with a 32-46 record. Stars Jay Bruce, Yoenis Cespedes and Syndergaard have all been sidelined with injuries, and the Mets do not currently boast of any player among MLB Pipeline's Top 50 prospects.

Trading deGrom or Syndergaard in the relative primes of their careers would be a significant risk. deGrom in particular is enjoying a career season as he leads the Majors with a 1.69 ERA. But Ricco acknowledged their potential departures as at least an avenue the Mets are considering when evaluating their future.

"Not only do we have the ability, that's what we have been charged with, improving this club," Ricco said. "Obviously the Trade Deadline is coming up and that's a big pressure point to better your club. Certainly we're going to take advantage of that and look to be active."

Ricco did echo Alderson's previous sentiments, however, that the Mets are not about to enter a wholesale rebuild.

"I really don't see that as a strategy," he said. "It's not something we've really discussed, a complete teardown."

Apart from deGrom and Syndergaard, veteran players like closer Jeurys Familia and second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera appear to be likely trade candidates as they close out their final seasons before free agency.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

New York Mets