A lot has happened since the Mets 46-40 first half start to the season. The team went on a 6-game losing streak, failed to win a single game on a 6-game homestand, and let various late leads get away. All of this resulted in the Mets losing 13 of their last 17 games. At 50-53, they are 12 games behind the Washington Nationals, and 8.5 games behind the final wildcard spot which currently belongs to the Atlanta Braves.
It is a tough position to be in right now as the Mets are in between being buyers and sellers. While New York has been struggling, the season is not over just yet. Think back to last year when the St. Louis Cardinals overtook the Braves after being 10.5 games behind on the 24th of August. Of course, anything can happen in baseball. And we have seen the Mets have two consecutive historic collapses. So why can’t it happen to the Braves?
I’m not saying they should trade away a Zack Wheeler or any other big prospect to acquire a top player at the trade deadline, but they can afford to make a small trade to acquire a reliever like Grant Balfour or Jonathon Broxton. If Sandy Alderson does not make a move, the Mets terrible bullpen will prevent the team from even cooming close to a wildcard spot.
In terms of hitting, they can also try to trade for a right-handed catcher like Yorvit Torrealba to help out the offense.The Mets could not land Geovany Soto but they might just be able to get Torrealba for cheap. He will be available after being designated for assignment as a result of Soto’s arrival in Texas.
If Alderson decides to sell, the Mets biggest commodity is Scott Hairston who has had a terrific season this year. He has 14 home runs while playing part-time in the outfield, and he is a monster against left-handed pitching. I don’t think the Mets should trade him, however, because they would only receive a mid-level prospect in return. Hairston is too important to the team right now.
The Mets have also been trying to trade Daniel Murphy, but again, other teams do not value him as highly as the Mets do. As a result, New York would most likely get a relief pitcher in return for a quality hitter in Murphy. Surely that is not enough for an everyday player who is important to the lineup.
The best way to go about it for the Mets according to Sandy Alderson is to keep the team they have right now and stand pat. By no means will they trade Harvey, or Wheeler at the deadline. Also, it would not be smart to start trading away guys like Murphy and Hairston for mid-level prospects and relief pitchers. New York fans do not appreciate fire sales while their team is still in contention.
The trade deadline is just a few hours away and sources are reporting that the Mets will not trade away Hairston but they will also not look to make any big moves. It looks like they will indeed stay where they are and possibly use the waiver wire to improve their roster if they are still in the hunt down the road. It is a tricky call for Alderson, but is it the right one for the Mets?