Let’s make this perfectly clear from the get go: the Mets are dead in the water unless things turn around quickly. The million dollar question is how? How do they do that? Well, a few ways, and we’ll get to those, but let’s talk about the trade deadline.
The Mets appear to be sellers at the deadline, which is never a great thing to be when you are trying to fight for a playoff spot. In fact, the Mets have been buyers the past two years and both years they managed to get to the playoffs, and even the World Series. However, they were looking to upgrade, whereas the 2017 Mets seem to be trying to reset.
That’s a bit disconcerting from everything we’ve heard coming from management and the front office. We get a nightly slew of “we need to turn things around” and “these guys gotta start playing the game better” or the occasional “what do you want me to say?” And I think I have an answer for that.
I want the Mets to say whether or not they are giving up on the 2017 season.
I know that sounds harsh, but it will make the next two weeks relatively palatable. If the Mets are going to make some strong moves to better the organization, they should, but if they expect to make some big moves before the deadline, they need to do it carefully.
A few Mets players have been mentioned this past week as potential trade partners have shown up at Citi Field. Lucas Duda and the Yankees, Addison Reed and everyone, Asdrubal Cabrera and no one, Granderson to anyone, even T.J. Rivera and Wilmer Flores as utility options for clubs looking to make a postseason run. All of these guys could be moved, but every single guy comes with their own story of what happens to the club after their departure. Let’s dive in.
Lucas Duda, 1B to the New York Yankees
At the beginning of the season, I wrote about my frustrations with Lucas Duda. In a piece called “1-8 and on the 10-Day DL” I wrote:
“Jay Bruce has done something Lucas Duda hasn’t done in quite some time. Jay Bruce played first base and consistently produced at the plate. Look, I know that’s a rough thing to say, but at this point, I don’t know what we’re waiting for with Duda. I like the guy, I really like the guy, but how much longer will we have to watch Duda strike out on an offspeed pitch while sitting on a fastball that will never come. The book has been written on Duda for a very long time. Secondary pitches, no fastballs, low and inside. Rinse and repeat. We saw that downturn begin after the 2014 season, and now he’s battling all kinds of injuries. I just don’t know how much longer I can wait on his potential to come to fruition, maybe this is it?”
I have always loved Duda in the clutch, but have found myself banging my head against the wall too many times to count. Needless to say, I got murdered on /r/NewYorkMets for my opinion on Duda. I agree it’s warranted, but if Duda needs to go, he should. I will miss him. But I most certainly will not miss Dominic Smith coming up to play first base. LORD. GIVE ME DOMINIC SMITH AT FIRST BASE. I also love how hot Duda has been the minute the second half started. If he had trade value before the break, he’s got 10 times that now.
My only issue with the Duda trade rumors is the recipient. I hate the Yankees with a fiery hot passion, but I mainly hate their bullpen. To think the Mets will get any ready to go bullpen help from that deal is like thinking $4.00 can buy you an ice cube at Yankee Stadium. It’s not going to happen and that’ll be $6.75.
Fixing the bullpen should be the thing the Mets are trying to fix. Pitching has been an issue, but with the Mets starters turning out quality starts as of late, the bullpen has been failing at it’s normal rate with no end in sight. Yesterday Seth Lugo had his best outing of the year, throwing 6.2 innings of 4 hit, 1 run baseball. The kid showed up. Erik Goeddel did not, giving up a home run to Tommy Pham in the top of the 8th, letting the Cardinals take a 2-1 lead. Thankfully Wilmer went deep and the Cardinals lacked fundies and the Mets pulled it out. But Erik Goeddel got off the hook, not because of anything he did. He owes Flores dinner.
Addison Reed, RP to the Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and more!
Addison Reed is the most valuable trade option the Mets have. I know it, you know it, we all know it. It’s the most basic fact in the universe. So I’ll go ahead and say the obvious: They can’t trade Addison Reed if they want to get to October.
This is what I’m talking about. The Mets need to make a decision one way or the other as to whether or not they are going to turn this ship around and make a run for it. If they want to, they have to keep Reed, the more it seems that Reed will be traded, the less hope the Mets have in their season.
This is where things get interesting. The Mets are in between a rock and a hard place with this Addison Reed situation. If they were to ship out their strongest bullpen option in a bullpen full of struggles, they’re waving the white flag. A Mets team, two years removed from a World Series is calling it a season in July. That’s cause for a mutiny in Flushing is what it is. That’s a return to the “Ya Gotta Leave” campaign. And to do it in a year when the Yankees have the hottest star in the game and are pushing to make the playoffs? It’s a direct kick in the teeth to the Flushing Faithful. It’s a move that does more damage than good.
The Mets are trying to be buyers as sellers this trade deadline, which is impossible. It’s an exercise in futility, but it seems to be where the organization is going. So buckle up.