Jul 27, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets right fielder Marlon Byrd (6) bats during the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Trade Deadline Primer


Between now and tomorrow’s non-waiver trade deadline, there will be a million rumors, of which a sliver will materialize.  So far, it’s been reported that the Mets are being “quiet” and that they’re likely to stand pat.  While that may turn out to be the case, it’s important to recall the following:

  • The R.A. Dickey trade was agreed upon before the media found out.
  • When Carlos Beltran was traded to the Giants, everyone thought the Mets were getting Gary Brown in return.  Instead, they got Zack Wheeler.
  • Going way back, not one person knew that Omar Minaya traveled to the Dominican Republic to have Thanksgiving dinner with Pedro Martinez prior to signing him.

The point? The Mets could be working on a blockbuster, but there’s a high probability that no one outside the team’s brain-trust would be aware.  Or, the Mets could be serious about standing pat.  Or, the team’s claim that they’re standing pat could be posturing in an effort to drive the price up for interested teams.

Until a trade goes through, no one knows anything for certain.  Even if a team leaks information to a reporter, they could be intentionally floating misinformation.  That makes the fact that I’m writing this piece almost contradictory in nature, but here it goes anyway:

What should the Mets do?

The Mets should make trades only if they make sense for them.  There’s absolutely no reason to make a trade or trades for the sake of it.

The team is in what hopes to be their final year of rebuilding – the transition year if you will.  Next year, with a ton of money coming off the books and their young pitching continuing to advance, the Mets should be in position to put together a contending club.  Any move they make this year should be made with an eye on 2014 and beyond.

Who could the Mets trade and what’s (supposedly) the latest?

Marlon Byrd:

Byrd is having a tremendous year, and there should be interest from other teams.  It was reported a few days ago that the Mets were reluctant to deal him (because they wanted to “win as many games as possible”) but that struck me as posturing.

In the last few days, it’s been reported that the Mets would deal Byrd if they could receive a prospect in a team’s top 15.  Byrd is valuable enough at this point to generate that type of return.  If the market develops the way Sandy Alderson hopes it will, I think he’ll trade Byrd.  However, there’s no way Alderson will deal Byrd if the return isn’t at least solid.

Earlier today, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that action had begun to pick up lately on Byrd.  There are a number of contending teams in need of outfield help.  Byrd is a veteran presence, has been incredibly productive, and is owed less than $350,000, so he should be a very attractive commodity.

Bobby Parnell:

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece suggesting that the Mets shouls attempt to acquire a young, impact outfielder in exchange for Parnell.  Now that the Tigers have acquired Jose Veras from the Astros, they’re likely finished adding to their bullpen.  That puts the kibosh on any potential Bobby Parnell for Nick Castellanos trade.

Parnell has been great this year, is on the right side of 30, and is under team control for multiple years.  The Mets shouldn’t have Parnell on the block.  Rather, they should be waiting for teams to come to them with inquiries.  According to the reports we’ve heard, that’s exactly what they’re doing.  One potential destination would be Boston.

Prospects:

The Mets could always look to do a prospects for prospects deal, or a deal that ships off three or four top prospects for a proven major league piece.  With Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Gonzalez apparently not on the market, the latter seems like it won’t happen.  The first scenario (prospects for prospects) should be a possibility, but it’s something the media hasn’t even been discussing.

Figure something like Rafael Montero, Wilmer Flores, and another prospect (or some other combination) for another team’s near-ready impact shortstop or outfielder and others.

The Mets are saying that Noah Syndergaard is off limits,  but he’s certainly a player who could fetch a ton.

What will the Mets do?

I don’t know.  If you locate Doc Brown and a Flux Capacitor, let me know and I’ll travel ahead to tomorrow and check.

…no matter what the Mets do, there will be people who are upset.  If the Mets stand pat, fans will scream that they’re not being proactive (even if it comes out that the Mets were being offered nothing of consequence in exchange for their assets).  If the Mets deal Byrd for a prospect, some fans will be irritated that they’re “throwing in the towel.”  If the Mets move top prospects for other prospects or a proven big league commodity, there will be those who bash the team for trading away whoever ends up going in the deal.

The best thing to do is sit back and watch this unfold.

 

 

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