It was an uneventful weekend for the Mets in many respects. They lost two of three games to the “lowly” Arizona Diamondbacks. A team, as my GBB partner Adam Rossi pointed out, had only won 13 road games all year prior to their visit to CitiField. The other non-event was the coming and going of the trade deadline with the Mets taking the position of neither buyer nor seller, but as a mere bystander.
They did manage to offload Mike Jacobs to the Blue Jays for the infamous “Player to be Named Later” As long as that unnamed player has all of their limbs, that will be one transaction that will be favorable for the Mets. And rumor has it that they did their best to convince other teams that Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo could compete with sliced bread as the next best thing, but alas, to no avail.
But did we really expect some thirteenth hour blockbuster trade to transpire? Realistically, that just wasn’t in the cards. The Mets have been playing such uneven baseball that it should be no surprise that their record is almost a perfectly even .500. The team is much further away from contending with the Braves or the Phillies than one big bat or one big pitcher. I actually applaud Mets’ management for not putting on the pretense of being a “buyer” this season. Whether money was a factor and the team was unable to increase payroll or the team recognized its shortcoming and didn’t want to depart with what few legitimate prospects they have, it was a prudent move.
They also chose not to play the part of the “seller”. It would have been a bold move to trade some of the key, cornerstone players that are fan favorites. For example, what if the Mets had opted to trade Jose Reyes? Sure, Met fans would miss chanting “Jose—Jose—Jose” at home games. They would miss his energy, solid defense and speed. But he is a consummate injury risk and he could have gotten a couple of good prospects in return. Could the Mets have pulled of a trade with, say, Tampa Bay? Trading Reyes for pitcher Wade Davis and minor leaguer Tim Beckham? Maybe, maybe not. Initially, a trade like that would have been an unpopular move for the fan faithful. But a trade like that that might have been a strong move to revamping the Mets with solid, young players of the future. After all, let’s face it, what’s in place right now, isn’t getting the job done.
But again, I don’t fault the Mets for not wanting to pull the trigger on a deal similar to that. That type of a deal would have been an outward confession to the Met fans that they don’t feel that they have the players to win and would have indicated that the team is in a rebuilding mode. Such a position is unpopular in a city that demands a winner and has high expectations to have a team with high profile players. That would have been a trade that could potentially alienate even the most loyal of fans.
But what I do fault the Mets for is being in a position that they can be neither “seller” nor “buyer” and the end result was decided to do absolutely nothing. Whether this unfortunate position is due to limited payroll and bad signings (pointing a finger at Perez and Castillo), an under developed farm system or concern about team image and perception, the Mets took the most passive and complacent approach. Could they have not come up with something to at least show the loyal fan base that they care? Some initiative to show some forward movement rather than a team that seems so frightened by its own shadow that it is paralyzed by indecisiveness?
So the end result is the Mets simply don’t know whether to buy or sell. They don’t know if they are coming or going. For every win, there is a loss and the bottom line is that they look like an organization that continues to chase its own tail. They seem forever to remain in limbo and Met faithful will continue to suffer in purgatory.
How frustrating it is to be a Met fan!