Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke to the media today regarding the non-waiver trade deadline coming up on July 31. He didn't mention any players specifically, and he clearly didn't want to show his hand, but Alderson did teach us some things about the Mets' thinking.
On whether or not the Mets will take action prior to the deadline:
It's very difficult to say. Had I to make a guess, I would say nothing will happen. But you never know what's going to transpire in the next three days or so. Clubs that may be having conversations elsewhere circle back based on what they think their options might be. So I'd say we have an opportunity to do a thing or two, but we're not inclined to at this point.
It doesn't seem as though the Mets are hearing the kind of offers that they want to hear regarding their top trade pieces. Pitchers like Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee have value on the market, but they aren't exactly hot commodities. The Giants, for example, were supposedly in on Colon, but they decided to cut a deal for Jake Peavy instead. Perhaps as the deadline draws closer, teams will get more desperate and be willing to surrender the assets that the Mets desire.
On how the team's recent play has affected trade deadline outlook:
You know, when I say it's unlikely that we'll do anything, we're not anxious to be sellers. We're cautious about being buyers. But we'll see.
Going 5-5 in ten games against the Padres, Mariners, and Brewers is a fun morale victory, but the Mets need to do a lot better than that if they are going to fight their way into the playoff race. With the team playing reasonably well lately and with the .500 mark within reach, it's understandably tough for Alderson and company to decide whether to be buyers or sellers. Complicating matters are players like Colon and Daniel Murphy who can help the Mets in 2015 if they aren't dealt. If the Mets are just one year away from contention, selling doesn't make a lot of sense, and buying doesn't either, unless the acquisitions are on long-term contracts.
We're in that position where we really don't want to give up prospects, but we're not anxious to trade for guys that can't help us nearer-term. That may lead us to more of a status quo situation.
The Mets aren't playing well enough to warrant trading prospects for a player on an expiring contract. I could see the team possibly adding a player like Marlon Byrd who is affordable and can help them in 2015, but only if it doesn't cost the Mets prospects that are close to the majors. A trade for Byrd, however, would be unlikely because if the Phillies don't receive any significant offers, they can just wait until the winter.
What about a blockbuster deal for a star player?
That's a possibility. In fact, to me that sounds more desirable than inching your way there, giving up prospects in more cautious transactions. So I wouldn't rule that out. But it's got to be the right time for the right player under the right circumstances.
It sure sounds like Alderson is referring to the Colorado situation. With the depth the team has built up in the farm system, the Mets are prepared to send a huge package out to bring back a franchise-altering player. Because of the team's wealth of minor league pitching, the Mets have been mentioned as a perfect partner for the Rockies in a trade for Troy Tulowitzki. It appears that the front office's preference is to save up its assets in order to swing for the fences.