Time to Trade Mike Pelfrey?


I’ve been planning to write this post today for several days now, and it is not a response to Thursday’s poor performance (nice comeback by the Mets to win the game, by the way), but I think it is time to trade Mike Pelfrey.

Pelfrey is a pretty good pitcher and he’s shown flashes of brilliance, but not enough to justify keeping him. Pelfrey is making nearly $4 million this year, and even if he has a medicore season, he is set to make at least $6 million in 2012. For a cash-starved team, that is a lot to pay for a middle-to-back of the rotation guy.

733950641ND019_NewYorkAnd that’s just what Pelfrey is — he is not an ace. With Johan Santana down, the Mets needed Pelfrey to step up and be an ace. But he just doesn’t have it in him. Perhaps the pressure of being an ace is just too much for Pelfrey. And that’s another problem — he appears to be soft.

Pelfrey is one in a long line of recent Mets starters (Oliver Perez, John Maine) who are sensitive on the mound, who retreat when the going gets tough. Starting pitchers have to be fierce — they have to battle when things don’t go their way (Santana, Pedro Martinez, Al Leiter to name a few).  Pelfrey seems like a nice guy and I don’t relish writing this, but he  just doesn’t seem to have it in him.

Maybe pitching in a smaller market where less is expected of him would be good for Pelfrey. He still has good stuff and can thrive in such an atmosphere. I think the Mets could still get a couple of good prospects for Pelfrey.

In addition, looking ahead, the Mets really don’t need Pelfrey. The 2012 rotation is going to be Santana (God willing!), R.A. Dickey, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee and one more pitcher. That would have been Jenrry Mejia, but he will still be recuperating from Tommy John surgery. He should replace Dickey in 2013.

I think the fifth starter should be Matt Harvey. He is burning up the minor leagues, with scouts marvelling at his stuff. I actually think the Mets should bring him up right now, depending on the kid’s make-up. If he is one of the tough ones who can withstand a little “baptism by fire” in the majors, then make the call. If he is a softy like Pelfrey who would suffer a major setback if he were to fail at the big league level, then he should be left in the minors for now.

I sense that Harvey is one of the tough guys. If he can establish himself this season, it would make it that much easier to trade Pelfrey and set up the rotation for 2012.

Either way, Pelfrey should be sent packing.




4 comments on “Time to Trade Mike Pelfrey?
  1. EXCELLENT POINT!!! I totally agree. Another point – Pelfrey is probably about as good a pitcher as he is ever going to be. I wish they had dealt him at the end of last year – when he was a “15″ game winner. Probably could have gotten more.

    I try not to watch whenever he pitches….

    Did anyone watch the game yesterday? Beltran’s blast of a double!! S*iti – Field robs the Mets of another homer. That ball hit the top of the fence over the 385 sign. Which means that was at least a 400 foot plus shot! When are they going to move the fences in?? AND how about adorning the stadium with some Mets Royal Blue???

    I wonder if Jeff Wilpon “hangs” out with Congressman Weiner?

  2. Agree with this. This is Pelfrey’s 6th year with major league action and he hasn’t shown the ability or desire to step up and be that guy. I’d rather have 5 Dillon Gees that are going to go out and battle than one Pelfrey who has all the potential, but is too scared to fight through it.

  3. Um, Matt Harvey is in A-ball right now. Even Pedro Martinez didn’t move as quickly as what you’re suggesting. If Harvey progresses perfectly, he could get the call between the middle and end of next season. But let’s not pretend he’s Stephen Strasberg or Mark Prior. He has no business being in a major league rotation in less than a year.

    Also, the problem with trading Mike Pelfrey is that you have to find someone who wants to trade for Mike Pelfrey. At this point, I’m not sure you get much of anything for him. Might as well let him soak up some innings for the big club, since they’re not going anywhere anyway.

    In truth, the time to trade Pelf was last offseason when he still had some value, even though he’d clearly been overperforming. But right now, especially given how thin the rotation is, there’s nothing to gain from it.

  4. It is not unprecedented to bring a pitcher up to the majors the year after drafting him. The Giants did that with Tim Lincecum in 2007 (although he signed quickly after being drafted in 2006 and pitched in A ball late that season). Maybe the Mets can move Harvey up to Triple A now, and if handles that, bring him up to the big club after the All-Star break. Some pitchers are ready sooner than others — Harvey could be one of those guys.

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