With the MLB trade deadline approaching, it’s easy to look at the New York Mets in the standings and assume that they’re going to be sellers rather than buyers. But it may not be that simple, as general manager Sandy Alderson may have a few tricks up his sleeve to acquire a player, or players, that will help the Mets become competitive this season, next season and beyond.
Part of the problem the Mets have is that they don’t have much to sell. The Mets could try to trade veteran outfield Marlon Byrd, who has had a resurgent season and could be a nice addition for a contending team. They could also try to trade one of the veteran members of their bullpen like LaTroy Hawkins.
Neither of those players would give the Mets much in return, as the Mets’ best trade chips are young players they would like to continue to rebuild with, like closer Bobby Parnell.
However, the Mets are beginning to amass some depth in their farm system, especially on the pitching side of things. If they so desire, the Mets could try to exchange some of that young pitching for a young position player that they could keep in their organization for years to come.
It would be an unusual trade to make in the middle of a season, but the Mets are starting to have an excess of young pitching, while they have a need at nearly every other position except third base and catcher.
Trying to trade young pitching for an MLB-ready position player wouldn’t necessarily preclude the Mets from trading away some of their veterans that could be useful to contenders down the stretch. The Mets are in a curious stage in the rebuilding process where they may be able to play both sides. So when it comes to being buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, the Mets could end up being both.