Parity has become a hot topic in Major League Baseball this summer. Rightfully so. A quick glance at the standings in both the American League and the National League reveals a situation in which at least seven teams are within six games of the second wild card spot. In the AL that number is nine, with only the Rays clearly out of the hunt.
That second wild card means teams have reason to cling to hope later into the season. It might be August before many mediocre teams finally admit that the playoffs are not in their future. This creates an interesting dynamic at the trade deadline. Most teams think they are buyers while very few are willing to admit they are sellers.
With that in mind, certain teams might be in position to proactively and aggressively sell in order to get significant returns in trades for available players. Should the New York Mets, currently 6.5 games out of the second wild card, be one of those teams? Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests that they should, looking to trade pitchers like Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, and Jon Niese:
The Mets should try to trade at least two of three among Colon, Gee (when healthy) and Niese, mainly for position players who will help no later than next year. The tightness of playoff races should aid the Mets.
Sherman then notes that the Mets could find possible trade partners for Niese in the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers and that they could possibly deal Colon to the Baltimore Orioles or Toronto Blue Jays. In each case those teams have position player prospects who might not be far from the big leagues who could complete a deal.
Assuming the Mets are willing to concede that they are not a playoff team this season, they are in position to acquire good value on the trade market while most of the rest of the teams in the league dream of a post-season run.