Saturday, June 25, 2011
Yeah, The Mets baseball season is not quite going the way I hoped. It's not as bad as I feared but it's still quite disappointing. But the thing that galls me is that the Mets are expected to become "sellers" when the trade deadline comes. Now sometimes being a seller is a good thing when you get rid of an overpaid underachiever. But the Mets are probably going to get rid of some of their best players because they are "broke".
Being a seller gives you the opportunity to trade a high priced player near the end of his contract that is having a good year but not good enough to get your team in the playoffs. So you get this opportunity to get some added prospects when you can trade a high priced player to a team that can use them. Carlos Beltran fits this mode. He signed a huge contract with the Mets 6 years ago and is playing the last year of his contract. He's been a bit of a disappointment in his Mets run. He spent much of his time on the disabled list and is in his mid thirties. The Mets won't re-sign him and he's having a good year. He would be a good addition to a team who needs a solid player to help theior run.
The Mets need to get something for him in return because they get nothing if they don't trade him. Even if they make a strong run in the summer, They have enough talent in the outfield to cover for his absence. Besides last year the Mets were doing alright until he came back from his injury. Good riddance, Despite the fact he had a MONSTER season the last time the Mets were in the playoffs in 2006, I can never shake the image of Beltran leaving his bat on his shoulder when he left strike three go by to allow the Cardinals get in the World Series.
Now Jose Reyes is a different story. He, like Beltran has been injured much of the last three years. But he's only 28 years old. And he's having a monstrous season. He's a home grown Met, And to me he's the most exciting player in baseball when he's healthy. Trading him can get us some good players but if he plays out his contract, We can probably sign him with a slight hometown discount and if we don't we get some compensation.
Look, As a Mets fan, I've had to endure a lot. When the Mets were good, It was because of the pitching. The Mets best home grown players in their history have been pitchers. No offensive player in Mets history comes close. Mike Piazza was great but much of his greatness was achieved as a Dodger. In the last half dozen years Mets fans have been treated to two home grown players that have shown flashes of greatness. David Wright and Jose Reyes.
What's cool about them is that they more or less came up at the same time. They play the same side of the infield, Have been almost perennial All-Stars and have generated multi-ethnic fan bases from throughout the region. I was looking forward to seeing them man that side of the field in 2015 and beyond with hopefully a few championships under their belts.
So what happened? Well, 2006 was a great season for the Mets. It was the first time since the Braves moved to the eastern division in 1993 that another team won that division and it was my Mets. And they won by a huge margin over the soon to be hated rivals, The Phillies. But there were problems, The Mets became short handed in the pitching department. Pedro Martinez got injured as did Orlando Hernandez. They got good pitching by Oliver Perez of all people and John Maine of all people. They breezed by the Dodgers and advanced the same day the New York Yankees were eliminated. That was a great day, Little did I know it would be the last great day for a while. The bullpen blew a few games in their playoff series with the Cardinals. It got to game 7 and Perez hung in there well with help from backup outfielder's most incredible post season catch of all time to keep the game tied. The Mets couldn't capitalize on it one bit. they gave the ball to surly pitcher Aaron Heillman and he gave up a home run to a light hitting catcher (natch). Then Beltran's bat got too heavy to move and the 2006 World Series was won by the 83 win Cardinals.
2007 started right where the 2006 ended with the Mets way out ahead of the Phillies which was satisfying after the Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins mouthed off about how arrogant the Mets were and announced the Phillies were the team to beat. Ohhhh, he was eating his words words for most of the summer, Though the Phillies themselves beats the Mets up good. But then the Mets choked real hard. The Phillies didn't play that great against the other teams but played well enough to the Mets to gain ground until the big choke finally took hold on the last day of the season. Thanks, Tom Glavine.
Anyway, 2008 went a similar path and when it was time in 2009 for the Mets and Yankees to move in their new ballparks, It was the team that built their park on a pilfered children's playground while destroying an iconic building that won the World Series. Meanwhile the team that replaced a run downed dump with a beautiful park in their own parking lot that gets an embarrassing losing season. How is that karma?
Meanwhile the Mets get into financial problems relating to Bernie Madoff and find themselves having become a perennial sub .500 team. Now in the past, The Mets have had a bad run of years. They were hostile in the early days of free agency and passed up signing great players when they had the opportunity. But more often they would over pay for someone in free agency and bad trades and would suck as a result. They have let some good players go before they became stars, But they hadn't yet established themselves when they were traded.
However, For the first time in their history, The Mets are looking to become like a small market team and allow their star players to leave when free agency looms. The worst part of it. Many Mets fans are saying that they should do this. They gave up on their stars. Well, They gave up on David Wright, Who still has some time left on his contract. This bugs me because David Wright is on his way to shattering most of the Mets offensive records in the upcoming years and I still think he has many great years left in him. He's only 28 years old. But everyone is either saying trade them both or at least Reyes. Last year when Wright had a good season and Reyes was on the DL, It was trade Reyes and keep Wright. Fickleness, Thy name is Mets fan. I say keep them both, despite their financial situation, They can afford them, especially with so much wasted money coming off that payroll next year.
Still, I hear people say "Get what you can for them when their trade value is peaking!"
Okay, I hear that.
So..... what could we get for Reyes? A prospect? Do you think we could get the reigning Rookie of the Year? How about a prospect GUARANTEED to come in second in next year's Rookie of the Year vote? You think we can get a gold gloved infielder?
Heck while we're dreaming, should we get greedy and ask for all four of these players? Impossible? Well, that's exactly what the Mets got the last time they traded a player in his prime because they felt he was too expensive to keep. That man was Tom Seaver and the Mets would have 7 consecutive losing seasons much of it in the cellar.