To buy or to sell, friends… that is often the question.
At the beginning of the season, a majority of Mets fans would have happily accepted promises of sitting 6 games above five hundred come the midway point of the season. Unfortunately, the odds for such a feat seemed so minute, at the start of it all, that few if any Mets fans considered the current state of things a potential reality.
Pundits from the Post to the Daily News to ESPN agreed the Mets were sure to finish below .500, with a best-case scenario of wins reaching the high 70′s. Now, with the Mets on pace to finish with approximately 85 wins, its our god-given right as Mets fans to get greedy.
Despite the winning record, the truth about the season thus far is that the Mets M.O. has been to follow periods of UP with slightly shorter periods of DOWN. And thus, here we sit at the midway point facing one of the toughest questions in sports. Do the Mets, as currently constituted (with current constitution including those assets that could be sacrificed to bring in more potent, “this-year-effective” chips) have what it takes to make a run for it? Or, instead, should we be thankful for our successes and look at the successes of many of our players as invitations to ship said players off in exchange for pieces that might help us out more significantly, in the longrun.
The addition of the second wild-card position makes this decision all the more difficult, since cracking the playoffs will eventually require a slightly less stellar record than what’s been necessary in years past. And, its easy for us to look at that extra spot and say “lets make our move” but its important to consider not whether we can trade for now to crack the playoffs, but rather, whether we can compete when we eventually get there. Only by answering that question can the decision of whether to buy or sell be made.
So, here are some arguments, on both sides, to consider. I will refrain from casting my opinion so that you readers can instead use these words as fuel to reach your own decision.
Buy: The Phillies are weak. The Marlins are a mess and the Nats can’t sustain their grip on owner of the best record in the NL notoriety. So, its likely that the Mets, behind great pitching, can stay relevant in the divisional standings.
Sell: The Phillies are getting pieces back; Ryan Zimmerman hasn’t started hitting yet; The Braves staff from starters to closers is filthy and the Marlins are simply too talented to remain so feeble. Its likely that one wild-card team will come out of the Central (Reds/Cards) and the NL West is a stronger division than they’re currently recognized at, with the D-backs making and the Rockies likely to soon make their final charges.
Buy: The Mets for the first time in a long time have some name-brand pieces in the minors to go along with some top quality depth. So, we can afford to mortgage a few of these pieces in exchange for some help in the outfield, the bullpen and maybe even at 2nd base.
Sell: Santana won’t be around forever and while we have high-potential pitching prospects, they’ve pretty much all had up and down seasons. While Harvey’s been great of late, Wheeler has fallen off (and perhaps fallen, period), Familia is unpredictable and our most consistent and intriguing minor league performers are guys still in low, high A ball. Seeing as we can’t bank on any of these pitchers making it, we should play the odds. Also, our infield depth in the minors is decent at best.
Buy: David Wright is having a monster year. In the past he’s had up and down years and he’s not quite as young as he once was. Dickey seems unhittable and before hitters figure him out and Wright comes down to earth, we should put whatever pieces we can around them to get us into the dance.
Sell: There’s more potential from Duda, Davis and Tejada when he’s healthy, and given Dickey’s knuckleball proficiency, its likely he’ll be around for a while longer. With David at the top of his game we can grab four prospects likely to have an impact in the majors in the next few years when other teams have aged and we’re therefore more poised to pressure for the title.
Buy: Its baseball and as always, anything can happen.
Sell: We can’t beat the Yankees and they’re not even the best team in the American League.
As a Rangers fan, its tough not to get excited everytime the Mets crank out four in a row. But then, almost categorically, we see a game like Sunday nights Dodgers fiasco and sink slowly back down to earth. Its nice to be in the running and there’s no reason to believe we can maintain that positioning for the rest of the season. But, truthfully, we’ve done so well with so woefully little this year (Omar Quintanilla?) that there’s no reason to think that our pitching and youth can’t muscle us to a strong finish even if we were to unload some of the more attractive opponents.
So, do we get Greedy? Go against the organizational patience that Sandy’s been preaching and take a chance on some bats and relievers? Or do we count our chickens while they’re hatching, realize we’re at best a mediocre team but one with the potential for vast improvement over the coming years if we stay the course?
Do we trade Wright while we can or assume we can resign him?
Is league-wide pitching in high enough demand that we can deal Johan or should we assume that Johan is Johan upon whose back we can march to September?
Something to think about, for sure. A nice change in pace from the past few years when by this time we were wondering what Revis was ordering at the Roscoe? What do you think? Buy and go for it or sell and bide our time?