Just as general manager Sandy Alderson predicted a few days ago, the New York Mets made no moves whatsoever as the MLB trade deadline came and went Thursday afternoon. By staying pat, Alderson and the Mets took the safe approach at the deadline, declining to announce themselves as either buyers or sellers. Instead, the current roster will remain in tact, as the Mets still hope to make a late season run while they currently sit six games out in the wild card race.
Of course, as disappointed as many Mets fans may be at the quiet and safe approach, it may actually be the best approach for the team right now. The only two impact players who the Mets may have traded away are Bartolo Colon and Daniel Murphy. Trading away either one would have all but ended any hope of the Mets making up six games in the wild card race over the last two months of the season, which is far from impossible after the team finished 15-10 in the month of July.
On the other side of the coin, the Mets will likely be in far better shape to compete a year from now than they are today, and becoming buyers in the trade market by selling off assets that can help the team win next season and beyond for a glimmer of hope at getting a 163rd game this season is not a wise move either. More to the point, there were few impact bats available for the Mets to acquire on the trade market, making it difficult for the Mets to find one at a reasonable cost. Especially considering that anyone they acquire they would want to be under contract through at least the 2015 season.
A move at the deadline would have made things more interesting, but the Mets doing nothing, in some ways, makes them buyers. It would have been easy to drop the price on Colon and shed his $11 million salary for next season, or do the same with Murphy and save the nearly $10 million he’s likely to make next season. The trade markets will be better for those players during the offseason. Instead, the Mets are taking their chances on a team that showed signs of life in July, winning 15 of 25 games, and plays 16 of 29 games in August against division opponents, giving them a chance to make up ground quickly.
With the trade market not starting to develop until just before the deadline, and a majority of teams still in contention, the trade market will be a lot more clear moving into August. There’s no reason why Alderson still can’t pull off a trade if things swing one way or another for the Mets in the standings over the next couple of weeks. In that respect, there was no sense in forcing a trade before the deadline. Alderson and the Mets took the safe approach, and at least in this instance, the safe approach may be the best approach.