The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is Saturday, July 31st, and by all accounts, the Mets will be happy to watch the clock strike 4PM Eastern Time without making any deals. Most reports agree that the Mets are not anxious to make a move, that they don’t want to make a trade just for the sake of making one. I agree with that thinking, but how about making a trade so the team can be better?
I’ve already made my feelings known about Roy Oswalt. I would trade any minor leaguer in the Mets system for him, but it appears the Astros want major league-ready talent, such as Jon Niese, in addition to blue chip prospects. Unless Houston lowers its demands, Oswalt isn’t going anywhere.
I would also explore the trade value of Angel Pagan. Pagan is overachieving this season, and his trade value will never be higher. And looking ahead, where does he fit in with the Mets in 2011? Assuming Bay and Beltran don’t go anywhere, the Mets are going to need another big bat in right. In fact, given the lineup, it’s the only place to make a major upgrade. Pagan is a nice player, but the Mets need more. The Mets might make a play for free agent Carl Crawford, who would replace Beltran in center in 2012 (or sooner if the Mets trade Beltran, which I actually advocated last off-season before his knee surgery). The Mets don’t need Crawford and Pagan in the same lineup — Crawford is like a much better version of Pagan. Pagan is important to the Mets right now, and I’m not saying to give up on this season, but if he’s not in the team’s future plans and he could net someone substantial now, I say it must be considered.
Then there is the nonsense with the Royals. The always-wrong, five-foot tall Ken Rosenthal broke into “MLB Tonight” on the MLB Network Sunday night to report that the Mets were having “discussions” with the Kansas City. He claimed the deals being bandied-about were Oliver Perez for Gil Meche, Jeff Francoeur for Kyle Farnsworth, and/or Luis Castillo for Jose Guillen. Both teams denied any deal is imminent. And pretty much every other reporter, reporters who are right at least some of the time, said there is nothing to it. Good work as usual, Rosenthal.
Which brings us to the only player the Mets have a realistic chance of obtaining — Ted Lilly. I’ll take a moment so you to catch the breath that you just lost upon hearing of such an exciting deal. Lilly’s presence would allow the Mets to slide Hisanori Takahashi (whom Rosenthal called “Ken Takahashi” — the guy from last year — in one of his well-researched reports during Saturday’s game) into the bullpen where he belongs, strengthening that part of the club. But Lilly is not the difference-maker Oswalt would be, or Cliff Lee would have been. I would trade for Lilly, but I wouldn’t give up prospects of any note — certainly not Jenrry Mejia. That would be Kazmir-Zambrano Part II. Lilly is perfectly adequate, but not much more than that.
Perfectly adequate — it seems that is what the Mets have been striving for lately. Don’t the loyal, long-suffering fans deserve more?