This has been a surprisingly pleasant beginning to the 2nd half of the baseball season if you’re a Mets fan. The Mets have played pretty well since the all-star break. However, the Mets still need to be sellers at the trade deadline. Let’s take a more in-depth look into why the Mets MUST be sellers come July 31.
The series win in Miami last weekend was the Mets first series win on the road since the beginning of April when they swept the same lowly Marlins. They went into Minneapolis and swept a Twins team that is playing possibly their worst baseball of the season at this juncture. I won’t take away from the Mets that they did what they were supposed to do and beat up on the worst team in baseball in the Marlins and a Twins team that allowed seven unearned runs in Wednesday’s massacre.
There are more than a few bright spots to this squad, which is evident in Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Jacob deGrom. I’ll add Dom Smith and Amed Rosario to that list, and Michael Conforto must be considered as a central component to success now and in the future. After that, it is certainly murky. The bullpen despite not blowing any leads in the past week is still abysmal (Edwin Diaz looks like a deer in headlights every time he takes the mound). The timing of Zack Wheeler’s shoulder fatigue can only be highlighted with ‘same ole Met’s luck. Jason Vargas has been a revelation, but he’s not someone that can be counted on down the stretch. The San Francisco Giants are in a similar predicament. It’s Bruce Bochy’s farewell season, but they’ll still be active at the deadline. They are now arguably the hottest team in baseball. This is the same position Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has to maintain since his refreshingly honest assessment of Mets chances in 2019 at a press conference in Miami.
We all know the usual suspects that the Mets will look to deal at the deadline, expiring contracts of Todd Frazier, Jason Vargas and of course Wheeler. I suggest getting a little more aggressive and selling high on Domonic Smith and maybe Amed Rosario. Why not? The current construction of this Mets roster is horrendous at best. Dom Smith has been great this year, but he’s not a left fielder (which was evident a couple of night’s ago when his dropped pop fly cost the Mets the walk-off run). Trade Smith to a team looking for a young 1B along with a Wheeler or Vargas, or even package him with Syndergaard to the Astros to bring back a plethora of top-rated prospects. I’m not playing GM here, but I’m suggesting that Brodie act as bold as he speaks. The safe route is trading expiring contracts and sitting until the winter to make more aggressive moves. Why not strike now, make a big splash, bring back ready-to-go prospects and sprinkle in some moves over the winter.
The Mets cannot drink their kool-aid and believe they have a chance to make noise come October. There are too many holes on this team; holes that have been exposed over the first 90 games and didn’t all of a sudden get fixed in the last 5. I’m in no way trying to take the fun out of the Mets winning; I say enjoy it all and savor the flavor because reality will set in soon.
The Wild Card has been a fantastic addition to MLB, but it can be a tease to fans that believe they have a chance. There are ten teams in front of the Mets that have the same hope. I realize ‘ya gotta believe’ will always be the Mets mantra, but this is the time for understanding this organization needs to build a foundation for a sustained run at success in the future. Typically, the trade deadline doesn’t make-or-break a team’s future, but in this case, it might.