The New York Mets did something truly amazing yesterday, they had a perfect trade deadline day. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson did not make a single roster move prior to yesterday’s 4pm trade deadline and that was exactly what he should have done.
The current Mets roster is very far from perfect, but it is not in need of tweaking right now because there is little to no short term benefit to be had by making changes this season. Do the Mets need an upgrade in left field? Absolutely. Could they use a more productive shortstop? Yes. Would acquiring a minor upgrade at one one or both of those postilions yesterday have transformed this team into a title contender (i.e. what the Yankees did to their roster)? Not a chance.
The lack of movement signified a step in the right direction for this franchise. They held on to their pitching assets, which will be utilized, either on the field or in a trade when the time is right, rather than deal one or more of them in a knee jerk reaction to 15-10 July, in which they played very well but still sit four games under .500 and even further than that from a playoff position.
More importantly than that, they kept both Daniel Murphy and Bartolo Colon. Murphy and Colon staying put shows that this team is starting to turn a page financially (in my opinion). Murphy is going to get a big pay raise next season in arbitration, and the Mets could have jettisoned him in an effort to reduce costs, but they didn’t. Colon is due roughly $11 million dollars next season and very few Mets fans would have complained if the franchise sent him packing to make room for another young arm, but they held on to the veteran right hander. These are positive signs for a franchise that has been hamstrung financially, keeping two players that will cost them money, but make them a better team.
You ca argue that both Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig would be perfect fits for the Mets outfield, and you’d be right, but the Mets did not have what either team wanted. Cespedes was traded for a proven ace in Jon Lester and a legitimate major league outfielder in Jonny Gomes to a team with win now aspirations, the Mets do not have a package to match that.
Craig was sent packing for John Lackey, who, undoubtedly, has comparable numbers to Barotlo Colon, a player, as I mentioned before, could have been traded at the deadline, except for one major factor: money. Lackey has a clause in his contract with a team option to sign him for 2015 at the League minimum salary. The Cardinals are not on the hook for any money going forward with him, just one third of his $15 million contract for this year and approximately an additional $500,000 if they pick up his option (they will, they’d be foolish not to), rather than one third of Colon remaining salary this year and the approximately $11 million he is owed next year. So the choice between Colon and a younger, cheaper option of the same quality is a no brainer for the Cards.
The Mets will have to be active next offseason or my opinion of yesterday’s inactivity will be completely changed, but as of right now, I like what I saw. The assests that could have been wasted now can be utilized more effectively after the free agency period. They may have gotten hot in July, but this team is playing out the string in 2014.
The lack of movement can be frustrating for an already frustrated fan base, but to me it marks progress. A team so prone to poor choices and penny pinching did neither yesterday, they stayed the course. It was exactly what needed to be done.
Tags: New York Mets