If a trade does happen, it will certainly occur before the end of the month. August 31st marks the deadline for newly acquired players to remain eligible for the postseason roster. With the NL East well in hand, the Mets are interested in bolstering their playoff lineup, which suffers from the abscence of the injured Cliff Floyd.
The main issue in the deal involves money. Green is owed $9.5 million next year, and has a $10 million team option for 2008 with a $2 million buyout. New York wants the Diamondbacks to pay about half of the 2007 salary plus the $2 million to buy out his 2008 contract.
For the Diamondbacks to agree to those terms, the Mets would need to part with one or two mid-level pitching prospects. Mike Pelfrey and Philip Humber are untouchable, but either Deolis Guerra or Jonathan Niese could be targets in the deal.
If the Mets wind up taking on the majority of Green's salary, any prospects sent to the Diamondbacks would be anything but. Josh Byrnes would like to compensate for the loss of Matt Chico and Garrett Mock in the Livan Hernandez deal, so he may be willing to pay a bit extra in order to get a premium pitcher.
The paramount goal for the Diamondbacks, however, is to clear room in the outfield for Carlos Quentin and other prospects. Despite leading the team with a .283 batting average, Green is made expendable by Quentin's quick acclaimation to big league pitching. So whether Byrnes pulls the trigger on the deal to replenish the farm system or the one that saves the organization a bit of cash next year, Green is likely to become a Met very soon.
It is believed that Carlos Delgado's presence on the Mets influenced Green's decision to allow a trade to New York. Delgado and Green came up together in the Blue Jays organization in the late 90's. The appeal of joining a team that is all but guaranteed to make the playoffs this year and poised to be strong for years to come cannot be underestimated either.
The Diamondbacks are still in the race for the postseason and may have a future just as bright, but Quentin, Chris Young, and Carlos Gonzalez are a part of that future plan while Shawn Green is not.
Read more from Keith Glab at BaseballEvolution.com