As the MLB non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the question is will the New York Mets be buyers or sellers? Actually, they don’t have to be either. In fact, they don’t even have to make a move before the July 31 deadline.
The Mets are not in a position to dismantle the team, nor are they in a position to trade prospects for a one-year rental player. They should trade for players who will be in their control for multiple years. In other words, if they are going to buy, it should be for the future, not just this year. If they’re going to sell, it should be from a position of strength.
Bartolo Colon is an example of this kind of trade candidate. The Mets have a surplus of starting pitching, even though Jon Niese‘s shoulder health is questionable and neither Noah Syndergaard nor Rafael Montero have developed into major league pitchers yet. Colon is 41, and he’s due the rest of his $9 million salary this year and $11 million next year. Though he’s shown signs of regression, he still has plenty left in the tank for a pennant race. If a contending team (with money) needs a rent-a-pitcher, Bartolo’s a good option.
But the Mets can wait until the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline to make a trade. They did it last year, sending John Buck and Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Vic Black and Dilson Herrera. Black has been a key part of the Mets’ resurgent bullpen this year, and Herrera has quickly become the best all-around second baseman in their farm system. The trick is, whomever they decide to trade must pass through waivers first.
Many teams are waiting until August to execute trades these days. With two Wild Card teams in each league, more teams are in contention longer. A borderline team like the Mets may not know whether they are buyers or sellers until after July 31. And if the Mets do sell, they should do so carefully. They have some useful pieces for next year, like their young pitching staff. It wouldn’t make sense to do a Miami Marlins-style sell-off at this point.