While he was also a rental, Candelario nabbed the Nats DJ Herz and Kevin Made, both of whom seem like prospects we could have matched (or offered better) in a trade.
He plays 3B and 1B, so acquiring him might have meant not needing to do the Grichuk/Cron trade or the Escobar trade. OF would still have been a problem with Ward taking one to the face, but with the prospects that would not have been dealt, we could have gone after Mark Canha or Tommy Pham. Trading for either of those guys would not have reeked of us trying to look smart and buy low on a depressed asset with the hope they bounce back. Pham was traded solely for Jeremy Rodriguez, a 35+ FV prospect who doesn’t crack the top 30 of the Mets system, while Canha was traded for AAA pitcher Justin Jarvis, who’s in the top 30 but has struggled this season. We could have easily matched those offers with a fraction of the prospects we actually sent out (Crow and Marceaux for Escobar, Madden and Albright for Grichuk/Cron).
Maybe I’m a little salty because Cron, Escobar, and Grichuk have combined for a great -1.4 bWAR since joining the team, while Candelario has gotten 0.4 bWAR for the Cubs and the returns would have been greater if we traded for him more aggressively (i.e., earlier), since he’s only played 14 games for them so far (56 PA), compared to 40 games and 160 PA for Moose (for example). Canha and Pham haven’t exactly been world beaters, but they just need to not be disastrously bad to be better than what we have.
I definitely recall some head-scratching around the trade deadline whether we were going to be a name popping up in Candelario trade talks, but those discussions never seemed to materialize. Maybe Perry felt embarrassed at giving up Crow and Marceaux for Escobar so early on to the Mets (misjudging the prices of veteran players) so he got cold feet in trading with them further outside of the Jeremiah Jackson / Dominic Leone trade.
The domino effects of acquiring Candelario and a Mets OF would have been wild in the short-term. Cron would not have gotten hurt, so Schanuel would probably still be at AA. Candelario and Moose would hold down 3B/1B, and Candelario’s hot hitting since the trade would have turned at least one of these games (hindsight 20/20 and not like it’d be enough but I digress).