Before the Mets got swept by the Yankees over the weekend, Sandy Alderson mentioned at the Chatting Cage that he expects the Amazins to be buyers once the trade market heats up next month. Although it was revamped over the winter, it looks as if the “new-look” bullpen that Alderson put together isn’t working and could use another makeover. I would say a 5.59 ‘pen ERA is plenty of proof that something needs to change. Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog talked about the possible market for relievers this year, and some possibilities for the Mets to sustain a run at a playoff spot.
As of right now, it is rumored that there are a few dependable relievers that could be dangled in front of buyers as time creeps closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st. Names like Matt Capps (Minnesota), Grant Balfour (Oakland), and Brett Myers (Houston) have been mentioned to possibly be on the move since their respective teams have underperformed and are looking to re-stock for next year.
Kevin Davidoff of the New York Post said that he doesn’t expect Alderson to make a drastic move to upgrade the bullpen for a potential playoff run this year:
“You shouldn’t expect to see the Mets sacrifice pieces from their farm system, which is climbing back into respectability, to pick up a relief pitcher.”
Rightfully so. I want this team to be competitive and fight for a postseason berth this year as much as the next fan, but I don’t want to sacrifice big prospects that could negatively impact the future. However, some shuffling needs to be done, but as was said by Cerrone,
we should expect some type of creative move by Alderson instead of making a bigger splash. Balfour (23 K’s, 3.34 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) would be the best pickup in my eyes if the Mets could swing a small trade, but it could be likely that Billy Beane will want impact prospects in return.
Bringing back Pedro Beato and the imminent return of Jenrry Mejia to the Mets bullpen could be just the shake up the staff needs to get back on track, but only time will tell. Alderson has made a few creative moves in his time as New York GM, and I would expect him to do the same to help out what is by far the team’s weakest link as we get closer to mid-season. It’s been refreshing to hear the Mets possibly being buyers at the Trade Deadline, but they have to get through June before that is a reality.
This week will be telling as they try to get back on track in Tampa Bay before coming home to face the Reds, Orioles, and Yankees. If they can rebound from their rough week and stay above .500, that should give Alderson the green light to see what he can do to strengthen this team for a possible race come September. Would it be nice to have a contender this year? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t want to part with some of our highly touted prospects for a half-year rental on a reliever. That just wouldn’t make sense.