Looking For a Meaningful Trade? Don’t Hold Your Breath.

July 30, 2010

There are many reasons for a major league team to consider making a trade.  The most obvious is if that team is lacking in some particular area, whether it be starting pitching, relief pitching or hitting.  Another reason is to keep up with the competition, whereby that team needs to make a move simply because their closest competitor has recently done the same.  Yet another reason is because sometimes a team just needs to shake up the roster in order to catch some kind of proverbial spark.  Some reasons are more important than others for each particular team.

Every team also needs to ask themselves some very important questions as well.  “Is it worth it to mortgage possible future talent at this stage?”  In other words, is the team actually in contention at the time when a trade is being considered?  Does that team have the assets to bring in the player that they covet?  Is that team willing to add the payroll that the new player is due?

There are so many factors for a general manger to consider when surveying available talent and communicating with other general managers of potential trade partners.

That brings us to our beloved Mets.  The first and most obvious factor is that the Mets share a division with a team that always seems to pull off significant moves, at least over the past three years.  That team is of course the Phillies, which makes our stomachs turn.  From Cliff Lee, to Roy Halladay, to the recent acquisition of Roy Oswalt, the Phils always seem to have what it takes to bring in highly regarded talent at the trade deadline.  The Mets, on the other hand, rarely follow suit, with the obvious exception of Johan Santana in recent years.  As of this posting, the Mets have done absolutely nothing to substantiate their roster.  It could be that they have no interest in adding payroll due to financial constraint, which has been rumored for just over a year now.

Regardless of why the Mets are reluctant to make a move (or why they do not have the “perceived” minor league talent that other teams desire) is irrelevant.  What is relevant is this.  Are the Mets really a contender at this stage?  Do they perceive themselves as one?  If the answer is truly no, then why bother making a trade in the first place?

I often do not give the Mets any credit for good decision making.  Certainly spending as much as they do and annually having a non-competitive team should give my actions credence.  That is another story that I have written about many, many times and does not need to be mentioned for the purposes of this post.

However, if the Mets indeed stand pat after today’s deadline, perhaps they are making the proper move.  Would Brett Myers or Ted Lilly actually improve them enough to beat out the five other teams that are ahead or tied with them for a playoff spot?  This is certainly a valid question that needs to be answered.

The point is this.  If the Mets truly wanted to be competitive in 2010, they wouldn’t have waited for the trade deadline to make it happen.


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