The New York Mets would be positioned to make a bold trade this summer if they were playoff contenders. They have a stockpile of young pitching that they could use to acquire a major league ready player or a big bat for a post-season run. Unfortunately for them, they are not contenders, with their current record sitting at 30-38.
Assuming that they are out of the race and looking ahead to 2015 and beyond, would it still make sense for the Mets to use that young pitching to improve their roster? General manager Sandy Alderson acknowledged the possibility, though he said he is reluctant to trade any of those pitchers (quotes from the New York Post):
I think one of the problems with trading pitching, no matter how much you have, is you can never have enough,” Alderson said. “We’ve used eight starting pitchers this season. If minor-league pitching is our strength, the question then becomes, ‘When do you trade some of that pitching for hitters?’
…”I’m cautious about trading something we know for something we’re not sure of. But it’s something we’re always considering.”
Alderson also mentioned that the team’s location in the biggest market, New York, has to be a factor as not every player is able to compete in that environment.
Interestingly enough, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes a call for the Mets to be more bold in the trade market in the same 24 hour window that Alderson noted the importance of “ignoring the blogosphere.” I wonder if he also meant that he should ignore national columnists?
I’ll say this: the trades suggested by Davidoff border of absolute foolishness, deals that would send pitching in exchange for outfielders like Carlos Gonzalez or Matt Kemp. Those two players have been poster boys of the impermanence of this cruel game, dealing with injuries and ineffectiveness the last couple years.
You can find flawed but talented outfielders a lot easier than you can find promising young pitching. To trade the latter for the former is ill-advised, especially with the price tag on Kemp. If Alderson is going to heed the call to be bold, Mets’ fans should hope that he does not follow those suggestions to do so.