June 9, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jason Bay (44) during batting practice before the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Mets Have Second Half Help On The Way

In less than three weeks, the trade deadline will be upon us.  And between now and then, the Mets must stay in contention to warrant any kind of significant move by Sandy Alderson.  They’ll play the Braves starting Friday evening, and will do so with their best two pitchers, R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana on the mound.  The prospects of having a good series and setting up a first place showdown against Washington remains on track.   With Dillon Gee down, that series will be Jon Niese’s time to step up and accept a more prominent role.  Then by the conclusion of that series, we’ll know much more about the Mets’ chances for making the playoffs.  They have nineteen games left to either force Sandy Alderson’s hand, or give him every reason to do nothing.

Because of a scarcity of available quality players, I’m afraid there is nothing of real significance the Mets can do.  From this point forward, any deal would have to justify risk playing in the new Wild Card format, and potentially losing such a crap-shoot.  But more importantly, who can Sandy Alderson acquire that will help the Mets get through three rounds of playoffs?  In that case, now you’re talking about a type of player that doesn’t come cheaply.  Case in point, Thursday evening, SNY-TV speculated the Mets might be interested in Arizona’s Justin Upton.   Zach Wheeler and Matt Harvey’s names were the first to be mentioned.  That’s what the Mets will face as the deadline gets closer.  Then there’s a guy like Ryan Dempster from Chicago who’s worth a look.  Someone like him should be obtainable for far less.

But second half acquisitions are still on the way regardless.  Even if it’s not what you had in mind.  They are named Jason Bay, Frank Francisco and Jenrry Mejia.  Forget what we know about them as Mets fans.  At face value, a GM who reeled these three in at the deadline would look pretty good.  Wouldn’t he?  Once upon a time, maybe.  But Jason Bay is the right-handed bat the Mets want, but that he hasn’t been, while Frank Francisco and Jenrry Mejia are the bullpen reinforcements this team needs.  That’s our lot.  On the bright side, the team’s expendable resources can now be focused on getting another starting pitcher.

So just who qualifies as the Mets’ expendable resources?  For the sole reason of gaining a Wild Card or the outside chance of winning the division this season, here’s my tentative protected list:

Ike Davis

Ruben Tejada

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Lucas Duda

David Wright

Jordany Valdespin

Josh Thole

Bobby Parnell

Jon Niese

Johan Santana

R.A. Dickey

You can read into the list how ever way you want.  I left a lot of room for speculation.  But if I was pushing the rebuilding mantra today, this list would indeed be shorter.  Obviously, the most glaring omission from my protected list is Daniel Murphy.  He probably represents the Mets’ best trading chip to bring back a player of impact.  But Daniel Murphy will no doubt have to be packaged with another player or two.

But who?


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Tags: Daniel Murphy David Wright Dillon Gee Ike Davis Johan Santana Jon Niese Jordany Valdespin Kirk Nieuwenhuis Lucas Duda R.A. Dickey Rising Apple Ruben Tejada Sandy Alderson

  • jat265

    Why is no one talking about Jenrry Mejia going back to the rotation. He was brilliant in the rotation before being moved to the bullpen this season. The Mets need a quality starter. Why not give this kid a chance?

    • Mike Lecolant

      I agree 100%. But then the Mets need more time to stretch his arm out again, and get it retrained to start. Using him out of the bullpen last season is what got him hurt in the first place. He was raised through the system as a starter. Use him that way. I do not believe in swtching up pitchers in this manner. It is akin to the same mistake the Yanks made with Joba. So I’m with you!

  • DaMetsman in Washington State

    While the list is interesting and—for the most part—spot on, there is no doubt in this Mets fan’s mind that Capt. Kirk, Jenrry Meija and Lucas Duda could be trade fodder in a deal for Justin Upton. Why not? The Mets are deeeep in left-handed CF types—Valdespin (has to be in the mix there now), Den Dekker (a year or so away) and several others including Brandon Nimmo. Upton would be an interesting pickup and certainly is young enough to have an unlimited ceiling. That being said, once again, Jason Bay’s presence kind of mucks things up. The Mets can benefit by platooning (in a corner spot) Duda, Nieuwenhuis or Baxter (lets not forget about him) with Scott Hairston, who HAS to play against left-handed pitching. With Bay, Upton, Wright and Tejada, the Mets move toward a righty-heavy lineup, which is fine against southpaws, but not great the other 65-70% of the time. An outfield of Upton, Valdespin and a platoon of Nieuwenhuis or Duda with Hairston is optimum and delivers some speed, which the Mets badly need. The real issue for Alderson & Co. is the presence of Bay, Torres and Qunitanilla, who is valuable at Buffalo, but is rotting away on the Mets lefty-heavy bench. I propose moving several pieces for Upton (Kirk or Duda with Meija and Torres), getting Huston Street (for Duda or Kirk and Rauch or Ramirez) and perhaps a sweetener of Ramon Hernandez and Mark Reynolds (and/or perhaps Eric Young, as a switch-hitting utility player with speed) for Justin Turner, Ramirez or Rauch and a “B” prospect (Brad Holt/Robert Carson-types). Quintanilla might be attractive as a throw-in on one of those packages. Those are bold moves and the Mets have the chips. It’s too early to give up on Daniel Murphy, who at worst can platoon some with Cedeno (or Turner). It appears that Valdespin may be a bit of an ace-in-the-hole in that he can do virtually everything Kirk does, but with more speed. My gut tells me Alderson will be bold during the next three weeks. But Bay, for all the quality of character and respect of his teammates stuff, remains more of a curse than a blessing.

    • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

      Well done. Everyone is movable actually. I especially liked when you mentioned Eric Young. He would be a very nice pick-up. When I said “this is our lot” , our situation with Jason Bay is exactly what I referring to. C’mon back DaMetsMan.