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What the New York Mets Should Do

Overview

A torrid June has left the Mets within striking distance and pulled within a half game of first place for the first time since early May, which is pretty remarkable given their seven game deficit on May 21. The hot play has killed talks of Jerry Manuel’s pending release and even has some … well, Jon Heyman, thinking he deserves an extension.

Buy or Sell?

The reality is that the Mets don’t have a ton to sell that would’ve made sense from their perspective. They have morphed into buyers, and boy could they use some help. Luis Castillo has a .277 SLG, but he gets on base at a moderately acceptable rate. Jeff Francoeur is really quite poor; it’s not a matter of whether the Mets could find an upgrade over him, but whether they’ll even try. The good news is that Carlos Beltran is on his way back. Obviously Beltran’s performance might not be up to par immediately, which just makes the pending decision between Angel Pagan and Francoeur more important. It really is peculiar that Omar Minaya can craftily build a bullpen out of castoffs and filler on the cheap, and yet struggles to find suitable positional players at similarly low costs.

There are numerous rumors about Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona, too, although the Mets’ rotation hasn’t done too shoddy after Oliver Perez’s banishment.

On The Farm

Fernando Martinez’s star is dimming by the season. Jenrry Mejia is in the minors, where he belongs for now. Wilmer Flores, Jeurys Familia, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Juan Urbina represent some of the untapped rawness in the system. Brad Holt was recently demoted, which probably diminishes his value a bit. Ruben Tejada probably needs more time in the minors, but he could eventually be the starting second baseman here. If, that is, Reese Havens doesn’t take the job by then; Havens continues to hit and could force his way to the majors by season’s end, depending on just how aggressive the Mets are with him compared to their international signings. Jon Niese is also a popular name in trade rumors, although he may only project as a middle of the rotation starter.

Budget

It’s really hard to say. The Mets’ payroll is considerably lower than it was in 2009 or 2008, but the Wilpons may or may not have money issues, which complicates any kind of perspective addition.