Before the season began the Mets had several big questions to overcome/address. How good is their starting pitching? How good is the bullpen? Can the outfield produce offensively? Can others help Wright on offense?
At this point in the season it seems these are all still concerns for the Mets if they intend to compete this season and moving forward. To be positive I will say/type, at times, others have helped Wright offensively but consistently and long term, still a concern. Even if Ike gets out of his slump and finishes this season like he did last, I'm more than concerned he begins next season in a slump.
Which brings me to my point, let's make a couple trades. In recent history trades tend to work out better for teams than overpaying players in free agency. If 2014 is supposed to be the year the Mets believe they'll compete again, make moves with 2014 in mind, if they work out in 2013, even better. If they don't work in 2013 there's the entire off-season to find the right pieces and move the ones that didn't work.
Where do I start? Trade Niese, Ike and likely a prospect for David Price and maybe a prospect.
Strike while the iron is hot or while the lefty is cold. It's been rumored the Rays may be forced to trade Price because they won't be able to afford him. While Price is pitching poorly and Matt Moore looks like an ace, it may be possible. Niese is an affordable, young, lefty still with potential. Ike when hitting well would be a nice complement to Longoria and the Rays need for offense. If the Mets have more money to work with then spend it wisely, sign Price to an extention before he hits free agency and they have to overpay for him.
If Mr. Alderson can pull this off, he'll have options. With Harvey, Price and Wheeler, he can have three studs in the rotation or turn around and trade Wheeler for a offensive stud like Carlos Gonzalez or Giancarlo Stanton. I would only trade Wheeler for a proven, consistent offensive player. GCMS, CarGo, Trumbo type players.
I realize this wishful thinking, best case scenario, but why not aim high and work your way down? Most importantly, I wouldn't end after these moves. If the Mets have Harvey, Price, Wheeler, they will still need to improve the outfield, offense and bullpen. If they trade Wheeler for an offensive stud, they will still need to improve the bottom of the rotation, bullpen, outfield and likely more offense. The Mets have a lot of work to do if they want to compete for the division and play in the postseason. I like this team and most it's players, they play hard and they're scrappy. Unfortunately, other teams have better players who also play hard and are scrappy. Which is why I want them to make some moves now to shake things up, bring in new life and make sure the Mets are as prepared as possible to compete on Opening Day next season.