July 13, 2012
The Mets enter the second half of the season following the All Star break with a surprising 46-40 record. They are a half game out of the Wild Card lead and 4.5 games back in the NL East. New York has shocked many with their play and their resiliency in the first half. Now that the Mets are in a playoff race with the trade deadline just over two weeks away, the team becomes buyers.
With the loss of Dillon Gee for possibly the entire season, the Mets lose an arm in their rotation that has been fairly consistent all season. Gee has contributed six wins and a respectable 4.10 ERA out of the fourth spot in the rotation. This comes as a huge blow for the Mets. Fans are looking for the Mets to bring up their young pitching prospect Matt Harvey to take Gee’s spot in the rotation. The Mets are a little cautious to call up the youngster as they feel he is just not ready yet. The problem is that Miguel Batista and Jeremy Hefner are not the best options. Both have made spot starts this year with limited success. If the Mets do not want to call up Harvey yet, they need to make a move for a pitcher who can fill that hole in the rotation. The Mets need a guy who can give them a chance to win with quality starts at the back end of the rotation. The answer may not be in the organization. Guys like Matt Garza, Shawn Marcum, and Ryan Dempster will likely be available at the deadline. The question is if the Mets want to trade prospects to get an arm or go with what they have got until Gee possibly returns in September.
The Mets will be getting some help soon as outfielder Jason Bay is on his way back as well as their closer Frank Francisco. Bay has been very inconsistent as a Met, not living up to the huge contract they signed him for in 2010. The Mets are in dire need of another right-handed bat preferably being an outfielder that can come in and hit left-handed pitching. Scott Hairston and David Wright cannot carry the load by themselves versus left-handed pitching. The Mets lineup is primarily left-hand hitting with guys like Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Josh Thole who have all struggled versus left hand pitching. This team needs to go out and add a guy like Carlos Quentin. Quentin is playing on a bad Padres team and can help the Mets in a playoff race. In 112 at bats this year, Quentin has 7 home runs and 17 RBI and a very high .406 OBP. Josh Willingham is another right handed bat that could help this team, but could cost them a lot more in a deal. Willingham is having a big year with the Twins with 19 home runs and 60 RBI.
The Mets also desperately need an arm in that bullpen. The bullpen has cost the team several games this season. The Mets need a veteran reliever to help out some of these young guys. Frank Francisco will be back in the coming weeks closing for them. Bobby Parnell has been impressive and Tim Byrdak has pitched pretty well against lefties but the rest of the bullpen has been very inconsistent. Especially with the loss of Gee, the Mets are going to need guys who can get the ball to the closer. A guy like Huston Street who is having a tremendous season so far has to be on the Mets radar. Street has a microscopic 1.13 ERA in 24 innings and has only given up 10 hits. The Mets need to make a move to try and get these two guys from the Padres. This team has needed a veteran arm in the bullpen and a right-handed bat all season.
With a chance at a playoff spot and the loss of Dillon Gee, the Mets instantly become buyers at this years trade deadline. General Manager Sandy Alderson needs to get this team a couple of arms and a right handed bat if they hope to make a run that nobody saw them making coming into the season.