The New York Mets have had a special season in 2022. They will be in the postseason for the first time since they made the Wild Card game in 2016 and have a serious chance of making it to the World Series. Even though they have a good chance of winning it all, they are still far from perfect as a team.
The Mets made some questionable trades at this year's trade deadline. The trade for Daniel Vogelbach has been good, Mychal Givens has been solid after a rocky start, Tyler Naquin has been okay, and then there is the Darin Ruf trade which we do not need to go anymore into.
For a team with a fantastic base to build on, the moves the Mets made were interesting considering what was available. As bad as the Ruf trade has been, the trade that was not made is worse. The Mets failed to acquire another left-handed relief pitcher which they have needed badly all season and/or another top-level relief pitcher at the back end of the pen.
The Mets failed to capitalize on players being sold for cheap at the trade deadline
The trade the Mets never made goes back to the offseason when they did not sign players they should have signed. Come trade deadline this year and a second chance to fix the problem, the Mets failed once again.
The Mets started their season with two left-handed relief pitcher options in Chasen Shreve and Joely Rodriguez. It was clear this would not be good enough from the start and Shreve was off the team in early July with Rodriguez sporting an ERA over 4.50 for the season.
in addition to the Mets not having a true quality left-handed relief pitcher on their team this season, they never really had that true back end of the bullpen arm for high leverage situations after Edwin Diaz. Adam Ottavino has had a stellar season and has exceeded expectations but at the start of the season, this was not expected. Trevor May missed a good chunk of the season and when on the field he has not been all that good. Seth Lugo was coming off a down year where he had elbow surgery prior so it was hard to gauge how he would be this season.
While the Mets did add Givens at the deadline, he was not a high leverage back of the pen arm the Mets needed, and obviously not a left-handed option. The Mets inability to add either was not due to a lack of options either as there was plenty available.
We saw the division rival Philadelphia Phillies grab David Robertson from the Chicago Cubs for only their 26th-ranked prospect. The Atlanta Braves snagged Raisel Iglesias who has been absolutely lights out for them and gave up virtually nothing. There were other high leverage arms to be traded as well that did take a little bit more in return, but to see two go to division rivals for virtually nothing makes it an even worse look for the Mets.
On the left-handed relief pitching side, we saw Andrew Chafin available but did not end up being dealt. Jake Diekman was traded for next to nothing and although he has not been good since the trade who knows how he would have been if he came to Queens.
To not add any lefty relief pitchers or high-leverage arms makes no sense considering how important pitching is in the postseason. We have seen it so many times in previous years that good pitching almost always prevails against good hitting in the postseason. The Mets were banking on their guys to return to their normal form from the past and guys like Tylor Megill and David Peterson to transition nicely into the bullpen which they have not.
Things could change come postseason time, but the Mets will likely be haunted by their decision to not add enough quality arms to their bullpen.