The New York Mets employ players they can trade to a contender for prospects that can help them a few years from now.
It’s the almost the end of August. In baseball terms, it’s also the end of the period in MLB in which players can be traded and still be eligible to compete in the playoffs.
The New York Mets can use the next five days left in August to shed some payroll and add a few quality prospects into the organization.
It’s obvious, the Mets aren’t making the playoffs this year. The way they look now, it’s unlikely they get there in 2019, too. They aren’t suddenly getting flush with cash like the Yankees or Dodgers, which means improvement has to come from within.
To do that, a huge upgrade in their player development pipeline has to happen. There aren’t enough good players in the system now to propel the Mets into contenders three or four years down the line.
This is a situation older Mets fans may remember. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the team was floundering. It wasn’t until they hit some draft paydirt starting in 1980, things slowly began to turn around.
Draft picks Daryl Strawberry (First, 1980), Doc Gooden (First, 1982), Len Dykstra (13th, 1981), and Calvin Schiraldi (First, 1983) were the keys to building a consistent winner.
Treadmill of Mediocrity
In the last 10 years, the Mets have showcased just two winning seasons. The other eight, they weren’t good enough to make the postseason.
Those years also weren’t bad enough to get a good draft pick. Additionally, Since 2006 the Mets have drafted only twice in the top 10, Matt Harvey in 2010, and Jarred Kelenic this year. To quote Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, they have been riding a “treadmill of mediocrity.”
This year the Mets probably won’t crack the top 10 picks either. If they can’t add enough quality talent on their own in the draft, then what? The answer is to get someone else’s talent. It can be done by trading some of the vets on the current roster to contenders before the deadline on Friday.
Who could move
Among the position players, catcher Devin Mesoroco, who said a month ago he’d love to get traded from the Mets, could help a team by providing a veteran catcher and power bat to a lineup. Todd Frazier is another long ball hitter teams could use. Utility man Wilmer Flores has cleared waivers and drawn some trade interest.
Although Jacob deGrom would land the Metropolitans a big haul in a trade, he would never clear waivers. Lefthander Jason Vargas could clear waivers. Less than a year off an 18 win season, he’d bolster the rotation of a team fighting to make the postseason.
With some cash incentives, the Mets could get a quality prospect or two in return. That would help their chances of fielding a winning team two, three or four years from now.