Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Mets Trading Perdicament

At the beginning of this year it was a given that the Mets would be ready for a trading bonanza come mid-July in an effort to get some value back for those expiring contracts. The picture is a bit muddier now that the Mets are overachieving and consistently find themselves floating around .500, just within reach of Wild Card dreams.

While there is much baseball to be played before the July trading deadline, the idea of the Mets unloading talent and payroll is becoming less appealing to Mets fans. Injuries have depleted the roster as it is and we have been pleasantly surprised to see those players we were ready to trade at the drop of a hat have now become the best performers on the team.

For the sake of this post I'm going to leave Jose Reyes out of it. At this point, there's no way the Mets are trading this guy in the midst of an MVP season. Just not going to happen.

But the two other popular names in trade conversation, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodgriguez, are now less likely to be traded in my estimation. Let's start with Beltran. He's leading the team in home runs, RBIs, and trades off every other week with Jose Reyes in leading in doubles too. If you look at the Mets lineup, he is the only thing the Mets have that even comes close to being a home run threat. If the Mets were to trade him at this point, there would be a crater in the middle of the lineup and the Mets may set the record for longest game streak without a home run.

With Bay being Bay, Davis out potentially for the season and Wright struggling to come back, the Mets can't trade Beltran. Who would replace him? Jason Pridie? Fernando Martinez? Egads! Scott Hairston? All of those options are serious downgrades from a Beltran who is having a great year. And what would the Mets get back for Beltran? Perhaps some minor league talent? Maybe a struggling middle reliever? The return for Beltran won't be much as he's simply a rental player for a few months. The Mets would be better off keeping Beltran, providing the fan base with a notable player performing at the top of his game who can potentially help win some ball games down the stretch.

So what if he leaves for free agency? The biggest thing Beltran can provide the Mets is payroll space, not minor league talent. The same goes for KRod. He's easily the best closer in the NL this year even with his recent blown saves. If you get rid of KRod, do you really think the Mets ability to close out games will improve? We know how Parnell gets. Izzy is inconsistent. Don't think Beato is ready for that role.

The vesting option for KRod is a concern for the Mets and that might be the sole reason they trade him, but if the Mets are anywhere near a Wild Card race ditching KRod would be detrimental even though he makes me incredibly nervous every time he takes the mound.

Ultimately the Mets will do what they think is best. I just hope that a chance at some entertaining, pennant related baseball and fan interest weighs into their equation.

It should.

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