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  1. So are the Mets for real? In many of the other “what should X do” articles, the writer seemed to venture an opinion. The implication seems to be to hold tight.

    Comment by Jeff — June 28, 2010 @ 8:11 am

  2. These articles are informative but often disappointing because they don’t opine on what the team should do. So what should the Mets do? Don’t go all Joe Morgan on me, I understand you don’t have all the facts and are purely speculating.

    Comment by Rich Mahogany — June 28, 2010 @ 8:22 am

  3. Yea, I would like to know what people think the mets should do. I see a team that could steel the Wild Card, I don’t think they are better then both the phillies and braves, but could certainly beat out one for a play off spot. If I was writing this article I would suggest a trade for an infield bat.

    Comment by t-bone rex — June 28, 2010 @ 8:37 am

  4. The Mets should go all in and try to get Dan Haren and Chad Qualls. Both have been unlucky this year (.342 and .475 BABIPs respectively) and would benefit with a move to citi field to lower their high HR/FB rates 14.1 and 13.6. If it means giving up Meija for Dan Haren I would do it. Meija Martinez Holt tejada and a couple lesser prospects could hopefully get it done.

    Comment by tinski — June 28, 2010 @ 8:45 am

  5. The Mets should absolutely be buyers at this point. It shouldn’t even be a question. But they shouldn’t settle for the Kevin Millwood type, as that level of pitcher is not better than what they already have. It should be Lee or Oswalt, or even someone like Lilly who I would be happy to see in the Mets rotation if they can’t get Lee or Oswalt.

    They just need to avoid overpaying for Lee or Oswalt. Seattle gave up very little for Lee so they shouldn’t expect too much back. I would be willing to give up Mejia as the centerpiece of any deal but that’s about as high as I would go. No Niese or Davis.

    I wish these articles would be written by someone more familiar with the club they are writing about. For one thing, Niese is not going anywhere, according to Mets officials in recent reports. He has been pitching lights out since his return from an injury. He is young and controllable. You let him go and you’re just creating another hole in the rotation. So the suggestion in the article that he may be part of a trade is not very realistic.

    Second, I think it is incorrect to say that Minaya has not been able to find good low-cost positional players. Right now they have Tejada and Davis playing regularly in the infield for peanuts. And bringing Pagan back in a trade was a great acquisition. He currently is 5th among all major league outfielders in WAR.

    Also, give Omar credit for signing Dickey, even though it seems to be a lot of pure luck at work here.

    Third, it is simply not true that the Mets payroll is “considerably lower” than it was in 2009. It was about $135 million last year. It is currently about $140 million. So if anything, their current payroll is higher than last year’s. And there is no evidence that the Wilpons have any significant money issues.

    I think if the Mets were to “sell” at this point, it would be the first time in major league history a team 11 games over .500 did that.

    Comment by CaseyB — June 28, 2010 @ 8:58 am

  6. I dont know why Castillo is mentioned as the starting 2B here, Ruben Tejada has been starting for good amount of time since Luis has been on the DL (surprise). Tejada has a 10 game hit streak and has looked fine defensively. Also, keep in mind that Fernando Martinez is only 20, I would give him 2 more years before I would say that he is a bust.

    Comment by mr met — June 28, 2010 @ 8:59 am

  7. Since the author won’t speculate, I guess its up to us. What the Mets should do:

    1.) Trade for frontline starting pitching. Mejia should be a chip but not Niese, as his departure would fail to make any acquisition a real upgrade to the rotation. The reality here is that Santana is no longer the dominant #1 starter you need in the playoffs.

    2.) Platoon Angel Pagan with Francoeur when Beltran returns, with Pagan also seeing significant time in center as Carlos comes back into playing shape.

    3.) Continue to start Reuben Tejada at 2nd over Luis Castillo.

    4.) Find some bullpen help for the second half, as Nieve and Feliciano have been grossly overused and will need some support to have any chance of being effective in the playoffs. Trading for an SP and moving Takahashi back to the pen would help in this regard.

    Many people seem to think the team needs another bat, but the reality is that the return of Beltran plus the improvement of Bay and Reyes (which is already happening) should be more than enough offensive upgrade. If those players cant perform bringing in Ty Wiggington isn’t going to help much.

    The real gap on the Mets is and has been starting pitching. They failed to acquire one in the offseason, and despite the unexpected performance of Niese, Dickey and Takahashi, they need one even more now in light of Santana’s regression.

    Comment by Nick — June 28, 2010 @ 9:04 am

  8. “Seattle gave up very little for Lee so they shouldn’t expect too much back.”

    Umm, no. Just because they got a good deal for Lee doesn’t mean they should give him away for little to nothing. They can and should expect a lot in return because Lee is one of the very few (perhaps only) proven difference makers for contenders to fill out a postseason rotation.

    Just because someone gives me a dollar bill for two quarters doesn’t mean I should look to unload that same dollar for sixty-five cents.

    Otherwise excellent and informed post. :)

    Comment by Jason B — June 28, 2010 @ 9:10 am

  9. I didn’t say or mean to imply the Mariners should get “little to nothing” back for Lee. Just that the Mets shouldn’t overpay for him. Of course, everyone has different definitions of what overpaying would mean. I think Mejia (or a comparable player) as the centerpiece is reasonable — a player of good value but not too much value. Even now, some Mets fans are against giving up Mejia for what is likely just a rental. I can see their point.

    But I do agree with you that just because the Mariners practically stole Lee from the Phillies they shouldn’t just give him away. If I were their GM I would be setting the bar high for Lee.

    Comment by CaseyB — June 28, 2010 @ 9:28 am

  10. The Mariners do have to realize though, that if Lee does not allow teams to negotiate an extension with him, then his price tag drops significantly. And, in regards to giving up Mejia for a rental, to this point the Mets have said that they will not do this.

    http://www.metsblog.com/2010/06/28/mets-inlude-mejia-only-if-lee-signs-new-contract/

    Comment by mr met — June 28, 2010 @ 9:42 am

  11. A platoon of Pagain/Francouer makes a lot of sense give their respective splits. Francouer should really only be used against lefties.

    Comment by PhillR — June 28, 2010 @ 9:49 am

  12. mr met, I can understand their thinking. But I would make an exception for Lee. I would give him up even for a rental.

    Comment by CaseyB — June 28, 2010 @ 9:54 am

  13. “..it seems to be a lot of pure luck at work here.”

    I didn’t mean to imply that Dickey is lucky. The luck has to do with MInaya’s timing in acquiring Dickey for peanuts. I think Dickey has finally matured as a knuckleball pitcher, after much trial and experimentation.

    Comment by CaseyB — June 28, 2010 @ 9:58 am

  14. lol I’m pretty sure Niese isn’t going anywhere.

    Comment by NM — June 28, 2010 @ 10:05 am

  15. I agree with this 100%. I’d even go as for to say play Pagan regularly with Frenchy as a late-inning defensive replacement/lefty-killer off the bench.

    But the Mets do need another arm if they really want to take over the division and I don’t mind giving up a decent prospect package for Lee since they’ll get two draft picks when he walks anyway. No one should be even talking about Ike or Niece since they’re both important parts of the major league team at this point.

    Comment by Jay — June 28, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  16. Im really torn on this issue, Casey B. The Mets really do need another starter that will put them over the playoff threshold. However, I dont know how I feel about them mortgaging the future of the rotation by trading Mejia for Lee without an extension in place, given the lack of other “major-league-ready” arms in the minors.

    Yes, whatever team that signs Lee as a rental will receive draft compensation, but with the draft being the crapshoot that it is, I would rather have the high-upside talent already in the system.

    Comment by mr met — June 28, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  17. If the Mets can add the payroll, I’d prefer targeting Oswalt. Yes he’s the inferior player (to Lee) but:
    1. Paying more in $ than in prospects is preferable for a big market team that doesn’t spend on the draft.
    2. I fear what a Lee-rental would cost in a trade and what a Lee-extension would cost in $ at the back end of a 5-year deal (at least). He’s no spring chicken.

    Oswalt is going to be overpaid for the remainder of his contract but not tremendously and more importantly, it’s only a couple of years.

    Comment by Max — June 28, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  18. Seems like the 2nd half of this article is missing.

    Lee for a rental is ideal, and find a set up reliever or at least another lefty.
    Santana will have his usual 2nd half resurgence.Pelf and Niese look to be at least solid middle rotation starters. Dickey as the #5 should continue to fair well.

    The lineup will be fine with Beltran coming back and Pagan platooning with Francouer.Castillo’s defense and OBP weren’t bad before the DL but nothing has been lost with Tejada playing well.

    The Phillies and Braves have their own issues. It should be a good division race. And I hope Jerry doesn’t get in the way.

    Comment by CaseStreet — June 28, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  19. That would be the biggest steal ever for Haren.

    Comment by NM — June 28, 2010 @ 11:19 am

  20. Gonna get on a soapbox for a second…

    Is it immpossible to just enjoy a baseball season? Can’t the guys that got us through the first half of the season be the ones that get us through the second half? The fact that high profile players are jumping teams at high leverage points in the season is troubling to me. Our society has gotten to the point where everything is success, success, success. Anything less then the best is failure and that is just an awful way to look at life, let alone baseball where only 30 guys out of 1000 get to experience bliss in a given year.

    I’m for the Mets holding on to their chips. Add some bullpen help, or a fifth starter (Misch anyone?) so that Takahashi can go back to the bullpen, but for the love of God hold onto your youngsters.

    As much as I love Lee and what he can bring to a team, I’m not willing to give up any young talent for him. The guy has been a trooper and has been bounced around for the last four years of his life (yeah, poor millionaire) – he has earned the right to seek a long term contract after the year. I just can’t see giving up prospects for rentals. If the Mets where ten games up and looking to sure up a WS push (not just stregthen for a POSSIBLE playoff push) I can see selling a possible future for a win now attitude. The Mets are not ten games up.

    The way I see it, the Mets CAN win with what they have. Adding Beltran will most likely help their cause. I’ll take CAN win with a bright future over a stronger CAN win with a limited future. (the picks you would get for Lee after the season can not be discounted)

    This has been a great season for Met fans, and winning the WS would be amazing, but I’m content with enjoying the ride. For me there is more fun in hoping to win than expecting to win. I mean, I don’t want to knock other fans, but do Yankee fans enjoy their seasons? After 2,3,4 straight World Series, do they still hold any value? This is not rhetorical, I would like some perenial powerhouse team fans to respond here. For me the joy is the journey. The joy is getting to know your team and fostering a belief in the guys you have. The joy is hoping and wishing. The joy is knowing that failure is right around the corner, but pretending it’s not there untill the last day of the season. Being the best is fun, reaching the top of the mountain is exhilirating. Seeing the sun when you’ve been blind for 80+ years is better, just ask the Sawx.

    Comment by XZPUMAZX — June 28, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  21. Mets are .700 at home and .400 on the road. They have played more home games than road games. If those pct. stand (not saying they will or should) they’ll win 85 games.

    Comment by Sophist — June 28, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

  22. “I just can’t see giving up prospects for rentals. If the Mets where ten games up and looking to sure up a WS push (not just stregthen for a POSSIBLE playoff push) I can see selling a possible future for a win now attitude. The Mets are not ten games up.”

    This sums up my feelings. Are the Mets a WS contender right now? Would they even be a WS contender if they got Cliff Lee for their minor league prospects? I just don’t see that at all. The Mets are a team that is over-performing right now and I don’t want the organization to buy into the hype. There’s no reason to give up future major leaguers for a 5 win bump this year that MIGHT make them a playoff team. I know the Mets’ prospects aren’t great, but this seems like the situation last year where the Giants gave up prospects to get Sanchez and Garko and got nowhere. If the Mets can get Oswalt cheaply (in prospect value, obviously not money) then maybe that will be worth it in the long run. I just don’t want them trying to make a huge move for this year that dooms them in the future or even a minor move like getting Westbrook that will give them a negligible bump at the cost of anything of value.

    Comment by shamus mcfitzy — June 29, 2010 @ 7:23 am

  23. Dropping 5 out of 6 to the D-backs in a10 days officially says there season is over

    Comment by Stu — August 2, 2010 @ 9:23 am

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