The Mets, despite being 36-42, have made it known over the last few days that they do not consider themselves “sellers” now, nor do they plan to be sellers as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches.
The Mets are flawed, mainly on the offensive side of things, and it’s unlikely they’ll contend for anything in 2014.
The team not wanting to be “sellers” may be more about perception than anything. Still, the team can deal one of their better assets without technically being considered sellers.
That asset? Bartolo Colon.
It’s not known whether or not the Mets are planning to deal Colon, but Andy Martino writes in the Daily News that the team will likely hang on to him:
As Bartolo Colon has pitched for an extended stretch like an ace — he is 6-0, with a 1.58 ERA in his past seven starts — people have started to wonder if the Mets will trade him to a contender in advance of the July 31 deadline. With the caveat that Sandy Alderson is a hard guy to predict, my reporting strongly indicates that he will remain in Queens.
After so many years of acting as sellers, the Mets do not see themselves in that role this year, several team officials have said in recent weeks. We mentioned that a few days ago in the context of Daniel Murphy, and it applies to Colon, as well.
The counter-argument goes like this: Next year, they’ll have too many starters — Colon, Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, Noah Syndergaard, maybe Rafael Montero and Jeremy Hefner — so why not get something for the old guy?
Guess what? They won’t have that many starters. A bunch of those guys will either be injured, or will underperform. That’s how pitching works. An apparent surplus rarely becomes an actual surplus, and a starter as good as Colon will not be discarded casually.
There are two separate things from Martino’s piece to dissect.
The first, is the belief that the Mets would be viewed as sellers if they dealt Colon.
As is noted above, the Mets can deal one asset without being termed sellers – especially considering the starting pitching depth and upside the Mets have throughout the organization.
The second point from Martino’s piece to be dissected is his statement (not opinion, statement) that “a bunch” of the Mets’ current starting pitchers and/or future starting pitcher options will “be injured” or will “underperform.”
That’s certainly a possibility, but it shouldn’t be presented as fact. Simply put, a club can’t be afraid to deal out of fear that multiple other pieces will get hurt and/or underperform.
As it stands, heading into 2015, the Mets will have Matt Harvey, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Rafael Montero as starting pitchers who belong in a major league rotation. Beyond those eight are Jeremy Hefner, and likely a Daisuke Matsuzaka type who will serve as insurance.
Dealing one of eight possible 2015 starting pitchers isn’t much of a risk.
One starter could get hurt between now and 2015, or seven starters could get hurt between now and then. Or, they could all be healthy and performing well.
The Mets have a surplus of starting pitching, and dealing one of them to address an area of need should be a no-brainer.
You can’t operate out of fear.