Who the New York Mets Should Trade For: Bullpen

By Rich MacLeod

If in fact the New York Mets are for real–and as of today all indications have pointed to that they are–than they are going to have to make some upgrades. When a team is in contention for a playoff spot, they almost always try to make one big or a couple of mid-level trades in an attempt to improve themselves. Just look at last season. The Philadelphia Phillies added Hunter Pence and while it didn’t carry them past the Divisional Round in the postseason, Pence has become one of their biggest offensive weapons this season. The St. Louis Cardinals traded for Rafael Furcal and then dealt Colby Rasmus to the Toronto Blue Jays for Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson and Mark Rzepcynski. While those moves looked to be insignificant at the time for a team that began fading away from contention, the Cardinals would go on a memorable run all the way to the Fall Classic and won their 2nd championship since 2006. Moves like this, whether they be large or small, impact teams in more ways than one and if the Mets are serious about trying to make the playoffs in 2012, there are a couple of players they should have their eyes on.

The biggest need for New York is no question–the bullpen. While they’ve been solid as of late, pitching 14.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, the Mets bullpen has struggled mightily this season with an ERA of 4.98–the worst in Major League Baseball. Frank Francisco, before heading to the disabled list, struggled early but has seemed to turn the corner as of late so while they won’t be looking for someone to close, that doesn’t rule out trading for closers. San Diego Padres closer Huston Street has dominated this season posting a 1.29 ERA and saving all 12 chances he’s appeared in. The Mets wouldn’t be asking him to close games as Bobby Parnell has filled that role for now and Francisco will resume those duties upon his return but Street could be a dynamic set-up man for this team. The Mets won’t be giving up the world but if they could trade a mid-level prospect and cash, there could very well be a deal in the making there. Other names they may look at for the bullpen may be Grant Balfour or Brandon League.

Follow me on Twitter, @richmacleod.

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