Expect the New York Mets to Stand Pat at the Trade Deadline
Starting pitcher Bartolo Colon has been mentioned in trade rumors lately, and it seems like Daniel Murphy has been on the trading block since the last out of the 2013 season. The Mets have also been loosely linked to the Colorado Rockies‘ two superstars, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, since New York has young power arms that would be appealing to the mile-high baseball club. But the Mets really aren’t in a position to buy or sell at the moment.
After today’s win over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Mets are in fourth place with a 52-56 record, seven and a half games behind the National League East-leading Washington Nationals. They’re six games out of a Wild Card spot with a handful of teams stacked in front of them. New York has been playing better baseball of late. They finished the month of July with a 15-10 record, but a 3-11 stretch in June put them in a hole.
They wouldn’t want to trade their young prospects for one or two pieces; they’re in no position to “win now” in 2014. The Mets made that mistake 10 years ago when they traded prospect Scott Kazmir for veteran Victor Zambrano and a couple of other prospects (one of whom was Jose Bautista) for Kris Benson. The Mets finished 20 games under .500 that year, and they would have loved to have had Kazmir in 2006 when they fell a game short of reaching the World Series.
The Mets are also in no position for a fire-sale. Their young players are maturing. Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Travis d’Arnaud and Juan Lagares have all taken steps forward this year. 28-year-old Lucas Duda is finally maturing into a legitimate cleanup hitter, and the bullpen is loaded with young power arms. Next year, they’ll get 2013′s ace pitcher Matt Harvey back from Tommy John surgery, if all goes well with his rehab (he’s scheduled to start throwing from a mound next week). Tack on a left fielder and a shortstop, and the Mets look like 2015 Wild Card contenders at the least.
So, the Mets should, and will stay the course as of July 31. Sandy Alderson is a patient general manager. All of his trades haven’t been perfect, but he’s never panicked or rushed into a move. Don’t expect him to start now.