Mets Have Trade Bait

Omar Minaya became the General Manager at the end of the 2004 season.  Since then the Mets have mostly been quiet when it comes to the trade deadline.  Except for 2006, when Duaner Sanchez went for a cab ride, injured his shoulder, forcing Omar to make a trade with the Pirates for Oliver Perez (thanks a lot Duaner!) and Roberto Hernandez the trade deadline always comes and goes for the Mets.  This year looks like it will be different.

The Mets need another pitcher for the starting rotation; there is no doubt about that.  It looks like if/when John Maine returns from the DL he’s going to be placed in the pen. Oliver Perez has lost his locker as he is now on the DL and who knows when we’ll see him again.  Takahashi did a great job but it looks like the league is starting to catch up to him, especially the 3rd time facing the lineup.  That’s not a knock on him; if you look at his numbers the opposing team hit him better after the 5th inning.  He excelled when he was in the pen as the long man and if you really think about it the bullpen has suffered a bit since he went into the rotation.

There are 3 pitchers that will be available: Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee and Kevin Millwood.  If you paid attention closely this season you can see the Mets have been busy building trade chips.  Once Daniel Murphy got injured and Ike Davis became the 1st baseman the Mets decided they were going to make him a jack of all trades.  Murphy is a natural 3rd baseman and he played a decent 1st base last year.  The Mets also were going to have Murphy work on playing both the outfield and 2nd base in the minors.  Unfortunately for the Mets Murphy was the victim of a cheap slide last week in Triple A and is out for the season.

The Mets over the weekend cut ties with Garry Matthews Jr.  They also put 2nd baseman Luis Castillo on the DL.  They called up Ruben Tejada from Triple A and the plan is for Tejada to get most of the playing time while in the majors.  Just to remind you guys Tejada made the team out of camp and was very impressive in the field but his bat needed work.  Tejada went down, worked hard and improved his offense.  He had some good hits over the weekend.  What some may not know is that the Mets have another 2nd baseman in the minors who is tearing it up and is projected to be the future 2nd baseman of the team, Reese Havens.  I’ve read online over the last few weeks that he could be ready for 2011.  The Mets don’t need 2 futures at 2nd base and I think that the Mets are showcasing Tejada to trade him at the deadline.

As of this writing there is speculation that the Mets are going to call up 31 year old outfielder Jesus Feliciano.  Feliciano is a career minor leaguer who has never really gotten a chance.  As he has gotten older he has dominated Triple A pitching.  He has been hitting close to .400 this year in Buffalo.  The Mets do plan on Carlos Beltran coming back and Angel Pagan has more than earned his spot on this roster, so once Beltran comes back they won’t need an outfielder.  If I had to guess I’m guessing that like Tejada Feliciano is trade bait.

The Mets need pitching and if these guys are packaged in a trade for a pitcher then so be it.  Now I would guess F-Mart and perhaps another minor leaguer will have to be part of a package for Cliff Lee.  Lee would be great to have on this team.  This guy wants to stick it to the Phillies.  If it wasn’t for him it’s a good chance the Phillies would have been swept by the Yankees in the World Series.  He has proved that he can pitch in New York and think of a front 3 with Santana, Pelfrey and Lee.  Add Dickey and Niese into the equation and you have a pretty formidable rotation.  I know that he will be a one year rental and that’s why the Mets cannot trade Mejia for him.  If the Mets cannot sign him next year then they can get the draft picks from the team that signs him and rebuild what they lost in the trade.

I don’t want Oswalt on this team.  He’s had back injuries and he’s owed a lot of money.  I would rather the Mets go after Millwood.  I think Millwood on a good team can help a rotation.  He might not be in Lee’s league but I believe that he would be more beneficial than Oswalt.

Overall the Mets are in a good position.  The Mariners wouldn’t mind cutting salary as I’m sure the same can be said about Baltimore.  Barring injury, the Mets can add a good to great pitcher at the trade deadline and they won’t have to sell the farm to get him.