Who the New York Mets Should Trade For: Offense

By Rich MacLeod

If the New York Mets are going to continue to contend for a playoff spot this season, they’ll have to make an upgrade or two (or more) via the trade market. To see who I think the Mets should take a look at for their bullpen, click here.

The Mets have started off this season with a surprising start. Coming into tonight’s game vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers New York is 43-36, in 2nd place in the National League East and just 2.5 games out of first place. For a team that was projected as bottom dwellers and that some even said would suffer a 100-loss season, that’s pretty damn good. The question has been for months now, are the Mets for real? Well, it’s June and we’re all still asking that question. Eventually it’s no longer early in the season. All of a sudden it’s July and yes, the Mets are contenders right now. Their bullpen has struggled and while I believe that they will address that, they may also benefit from having a right handed bat to play in left field or come off of the bench.

With injuries to outfielders Jason Bay and Mike Baxter, the Mets do not have a very deep outfield and for the most part, their lineup is heavily left handed. So if New York is to look for a power bat to help aid the offense, I have to believe that it would be an outfielder. Here are some names that the Mets may or may not look at, and there’s no way of knowing if they will because as I said, bullpen is priority. Minnesota Twins left fielder Josh Willingham has had a big year in a pitchers park with a .268 average, 17 HR and 55 RBI. That is some production that the Mets would and should definitely be interested in adding to their lineup. Now Willingham has two years remaining on his deal and while the money isn’t absurd, it may or may not be an issue for Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. Don’t forget, the Mets have some talented young outfielders in Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt Den Dekker who was recently promoted to Triple-A after a torrid stretch.

Another name that would seem to make sense is San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin. After being sidelined with an injury to start the season, Quentin has come back and flat out produced. This season he’s batting .311 with 7 HR and 16 RBI. Those numbers may not seem great but he’s only played in 27 games this season, his home stadium is the cavernous Petco Park and his teammates do not generally get on base in front of him. The issue here is that the Padres gave up a good amount to get Quentin from the Chicago White Sox. Dayan Viciedo–otherwise known as “The Tank”–was the key piece in that deal and he’s jacked 14 HR and driven in 37 for ChiTown so far this season. So Quentin may not come cheap, but it’s a name.

With the addition of a second Wild Card this season, there are less and less teams willing to sell at the July trade deadline. That said, if the Mets are going to go for it, they’ll be able to find someone to fill a void.

Follow me on Twitter, @richmacleod.

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