When the Mets sent Addison Reed to the Red Sox for three minor league relief pitchers, they showed their weakness. Not that it was a bad trade, but that it revealed just how they have nothing in the barrel to give up. You have to give up something good to get back something good. Reed will help the Red Sox and with the Mets going nowhere soon, they saw an opportunity to get something for their barrel. Do the names Jamie Callahan, Stephen Nogosek and Gerson Bautista sound familiar to you? I didn’t think so. Granted any one of these guys could have a “Great Awakening” and become the next Mariano Rivera. But I see their value to the Mets in how they can be used in a trade down the road, for other pieces of the puzzle that is the New York Mets.
The fact that the Mets are beginning to deal is progress in itself. The problem has been that other teams were not willing to give up good young prospects for what the Mets have on their major league roster. The A’s, Rangers, and White Sox had players who could help teams that feel they have a legitimate shot at the post season, and the list of aging injury prone big leaguers in Queens, is not attractive enough for these teams. Right now the Mets need some bold thinking. They could have gotten a boat load of talent from the Dodgers for Jacob deGrom. More than Texas got for dealing them Yu Darvish. The Mets need to begin to fill their barrel so they can roll up their sleeves and get to work dealing for that prize to put them back in the top of the division. They have good scouts out there doing the grunt work to find new talent and they have come up with some good ones in the past few years. But the way to get a stock pile in a hurry, is to use other teams scouting and player development. Let them find and sign talent and then trade for it like the Yankees did last year.
I understand their predicament, they have value in this young pitching rotation that other teams are drooling over. But none of them is close to free agency and so why unload them now? But look at what the Braves have done over the past three years. They traded big leaguers, basically their whole team for a rebuild that will put them at the top of the division for the next ten years. That was a bold move. They didn’t wait until those players were unattractive. The Mets are in a tough situation in that they are damned if the do and damned if the don’t. Don’t forget, they were looking good in March of this year with big predictions from all the prognosticators in baseball. And then they hit the trifecta of doom this year with an enormously unusual amount of season ending injuries to go along with numerous stays on the DL for everyone. Followed by poor performances from starters, position players and the bullpen and third the amazing year the Nationals are having.
It will be a slow climb back to the top for this organization. Mr. Met, the Shake Shack, singing “Lazy Mary” in the seventh inning and all those neat giveaways on promotional nights are great for the fans. But a team playing for a chance at a championship would be the ultimate crowd pleaser.