What Will the Mets do at the Trade Deadline?


This afternoon on ESPN.com, Adam Rubin wrote an articlethat suggested the Mets may be idle at this year’s trade deadline. Fans who just read the headline of the article, or who are hell bent on bashing general manager Sandy Alderson are of course up in arms.  If you actually read the article, you’d realize there’s really nothing new in it.  And nothing substantive.

Jun 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson (left) talks with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon before the start of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For starters, Rubin’s source is labeled as a “team insider.”  If it was someone high ranking, such as Paul DePodesta, John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi, or Alderson, Rubin would have noted that the source is high ranking.  Rubin is tremendous at what he does, so this is certainly not a swipe at him.  It’s merely something to ponder.

In my opinion, there are two separate things the Mets should be looking to do at this year’s trade deadline.  The first, is to acquire a young, impact outfield bat.  The second, is to trade players who won’t be here in 2014.

Even though Rubin’s article is a bit alarmist, one thing it does is reiterate the fact that the Mets are interested in acquiring a young, impact outfield bat:

"Yes, Mets officials are expected to keep tabs with the Colorado Rockies about Carlos Gonzalez and the Los Angeles Dodgers about Andre Ethier. But given the tight nature of the NL West standings, those players very well won’t get traded anywhere, much less to the Mets. And there is no indication Giancarlo Stanton gets traded, either."

According to Rubin, the Mets are indeed interested and willing (as they have been claiming) to deal for a young, impact bat.  However, he states that those bats may not be available to anyone.  That wouldn’t be an Alderson bashing moment, it would be an unfortunate circumstance.  I’m not sure why Andre Ethier‘s name is lumped in there with Gonzalez and Stanton, but it shouldn’t be.  That would be a horrendous move.

As far as dealing players such as Marlon Byrd, here’s what Rubin had to say:

"As for the seller aspect, the Mets held on to Scott Hairston at last year’s deadline, trying to maintain competitiveness even though they were all but out of the postseason race.  The same may be the case this year, when the Mets could hold onto Marlon Byrd, even though he would appear to have increased his trade value with continued solid play.  The logic: Byrd is not making much — $700,000 — so this is not a case like 2003, when the Mets did salary dumps of Jeromy Burnitz and Roberto Alomar, among others. The Mets would need to be persuaded to part with Byrd and sacrifice 2013 competitiveness by getting something valuable that would help them in future seasons, not just a token minor leaguer."

I don’t get why Rubin is comparing 2013 to 2003.  In any event, Byrd should be moved if the Mets can get anything decent in return.  Not moving Hairston last year was foolish, and that’s an error that shouldn’t be repeated again.

Even though Rubin is playing up the possibility of Byrd staying put, I’ll believe it when I see it.  In Eric Young, Jr., Juan Lagares, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Andrew Brown, and potentially Josh Satin, the Mets have a glut of outfielders currently on the roster.  They’ll also have Lucas Duda coming back at some point to add to that crowded mix.

Shifting gears, there are those who want the Mets to entertain trades for players such as Bobby Parnell and Daniel Murphy.  Regardless of the headline and tenor of Rubin’s article, that’s something the Mets are considering:

"As for whether the Mets would trade a controllable player such as Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell or Ike Davis, a team insider said they are not actively shopping anyone. So any pitch from another team to the Mets would need to make sense for future seasons."

There’s no reason for the Mets to come out and say that Bobby Parnell is available.  There are two contending teams (Detroit and Boston) who are in dire need of a closer.  If they have interest in Parnell, they’ll call.  And if Sandy Alderson has the opportunity to snag Detroit’s Nick Castellanos or another player of that ilk, I believe he’ll pounce.

Murphy and Davis are different stories.  Murphy is in a month long slump, and Davis’ value is at an all time low.  It makes zero sense to move either of them at this point.

Here’s what we found out from Rubin’s article:

The Mets are interested in Carlos Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton, but neither is likely to be dealt.  2013 is not 2003, Marlon Byrd may stay put, and the Mets are willing to deal a player such as Bobby Parnell (but that they’re not itching to give him away).

To sum it up, we didn’t learn much.

The article Rubin wrote could have easily been spun in a completely different direction.  Instead of the headline being that the Mets were likely to stand pat, it could’ve been that the Mets maintain interest in Carlos Gonzalez and are willing to deal Bobby Parnell if the price is right.

Instead, it was spun in a different direction – one that paints Sandy Alderson (before he has done anything wrong) as a general manager who’s sitting on his hands.

The Mets could do nothing at this year’s trade deadline, or they could make a flurry of moves.  Right now, no one has any idea what will happen.  However, making a move or series of moves for the sake of it wouldn’t be wise.  There will be a number of players the Mets are targeting and a number of players they’re trying to move.  The market will dictate the rest.  In the meantime, there’s no need to bash the team or front office for something they haven’t yet done.

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