With the trade deadline approaching, the New York Mets need to decide what team they want and aspire to be. Are they going to go all-in and attempt to contend for a National League pennant? Are they going to continue to rebuild? Or are they going to suffer in mediocrity like they have in the past four seasons?
To me, there is nothing worse than sitting back and watching your team finish around .500 and have no real chance at the playoffs. The Mets, in particular, have had the same record in the past two seasons at 74-88, and they are on pace to arrive at a similar record this season.
I really expect some moves at the trade deadline, and quite frankly, there needs to be. There’s no excitement with this team. Without David Wright in the lineup, who is the selling point to the fans? I expect some stalwarts to be traded come July 31.
The first interesting name is Daniel Murphy. I wonder if the Mets see him as the second baseman of the future? If they do, they need to sign him to a contract extension and move forward with him in it. If he’s not, trade him. Murphy leads the NL in hits with 104 through 85 games. The guy can hit, and that’s never been a problem.
Defense, on the other hand, is a huge question mark. He makes jaw-dropping plays that make fans believe he finally turned a corner, but then he boots a basic ground ball in a huge spot.
Left-handed hitters like Murphy are always coveted. So, if Sandy Alderson decided to send him away, he could get a quality package in return. Either way, the front office needs to decide what to do here, because having Wilmer Flores bounce back and forth from triple-A can’t be great for his progression.
Is Flores in the Mets’ future? He’s a third baseman by trade, but he won’t be playing there anytime soon. He’s already shown that he isn’t an ideal fit a shortstop, so that leaves second base as a viable option. Either Flores or Murphy need to be playing second base, so Alderson should choose one and move forward with him.
How long are Mets fans going to have to deal with Lucas Duda at first base? The position has been a black hole ever since Carlos Delgado left. Duda’s not great defensively, and he will be lucky to hit .250 this season. Chris Young needs to go as well. His play this year hasn’t helped his trade value at all, so it may be better to just cut him from the team and bring up a young outfield prospect who will be yearning to prove himself.
The Mets have a foundation in place with Wright, Juan Lagares and their pitching staff, but this roster is still in serious need of an overhaul. The Mets have a month to figure it out, and hopefully Alderson makes the proper moves to turn this team into a contender.