With the trade deadline only days away, all eyes are on New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. The Mets are close. They have a stockpile of young, talented arms, and it looks like they are finally learning how to win. The team just needs one thing: a big bat.
There have been swirling rumors around the Mets’ interest Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Those are clearly the big bats that the Mets need, but are they the right big bats? I don’t think so. Tulowitzki is probably the game’s biggest bat at shortstop. There’s no denying that. Gonzalez is a solid corner outfielder, but is he worth top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard? Probably not.
Also, you have to take into consideration their splits at home and on the road. They clearly benefit from playing in Coors Field and the high altitude. Just looking at this year, Tulowitzki’s production is cut in half when he’s on the road. His batting average is 160 points lower, and he only has seven home runs compared to 14 in Colorado. Can his power translate to Citi Field? There is similar dropoff in Gonzalez’s offense as well.
But the question that Alderson has to answer is whether the Mets can make a run this year. Is a first-round playoff elimination worth mortgaging their future? It’s not. The Mets are going to finish with a similar record regardless of whether they make a blockbuster move or not. The Mets shouldn’t force it. They should play out the year and enter the Winter Meetings with a good understanding of what this team could eventually become.
With Matt Harvey coming back healthy next year, the Mets should focus on 2015. We are all tired of hearing the “next year” rhetoric, but it’s true. The Mets can contend next year if they make proper moves in the offseason. If it’s necessary, move Bartolo Colon after the season. The Mets are slowly gaining momentum in the National League and in New York City, and they should not ruin their future by taking chances on expensive, injury-prone stars.
Unless the Mets are blown away by a deal that they can’t turn down, the wisest option for New York is to stand pat at the July 31 trade deadline.