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New York Mets Are a “Whiff” Of .500 Away From Buying at Trade Deadline?


New York Mets: Addison Reed, Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce

Addison Reed, Lucas Duda, and Jay Bruce are potential trade bait for the Mets as the deadline approaches.

The New York Mets have been buyers at the MLB trade deadline the past two years, but might become sellers in the cutoff approaches in 2017.

Mike Puma of the New York Post wrote about the Mets players that would get the team the biggest and best returns from a trade. The deadline is towards the end of July, but the Mets’ meager play has most followers and fans pondering what could be done to make 2018 a much less mortifying experience.

I honestly can’t remember the last time analysts pegged the Mets as World Series contenders only to have the team end up 10+ games out of the division lead and the wild card. The 2016 season was a testament to the team’s resolve and grit. Injuries ravaged the roster, but the Mets cobbled together enough wins to secure a Wild Card spot. The outlook for 2017 was blinding. The consensus was simple: if the Mets stay healthy, they should be a top 5 team in the league.

We all drooled over the prospects of a healthy starting rotation that featured Noah Syndergaard, Jacob DeGrom, Matt Harvey, Zach Wheeler, and Steven Matz and a fortified bullpen that added 2016 saviors Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman.

We don’t need a reminder of what happened since all the 2017 season previews and predictions published. Everything went to crap. The pitching staff – from the starters to the bullpen – has been among the worst in the majors. I haven’t seen a roster of pitchers perform this poorly during my lifetime.

The first thing that comes to mind whenever talking about the promise of Mets pitching gone bad is Generation K. I was in high school when the Generation K hype went off the rails. That was my first and most ever-lasting sour taste the Mets organization ever left me with.

Jason Isringhausen, Paul Wilson, and Bill Pulsipher - better known as "Generation K". Image via Newsday.com.

Jason Isringhausen, Paul Wilson, and Bill Pulsipher – better known as “Generation K”. Image via Newsday.com.

So, when I had non-Mets fans telling me the Mets will be a powerhouse in 2017, I scoffed like Joffrey. It’s all hype. It’s Generation K hype. And I was right. Harvey’s a mess. Wheeler busted. Thor overly Hulked out.

This Mets pitching staff is on pace to allow 866 runs in 2017. Only the 1962 Mets… the inaugural roster… allowed more runs. 866 runs. That’s 87 more runs than the next closest total in 1996 (Year 2 of Generation K). It’s 200+ runs more than each of the past two playoff-clinching seasons.

The 2017 Mets got off to a rocky start, but they took the first two games of their series with the Nationals in Washington. The third game saw Syndergaard tear his lat (after refusing to further opinions and treatments) and the Mets lose 23-5. The first month of the season was just about to end and I thought the season was over.

The Mets were 11-13 before that embarrassing blowout loss to the Nats. They’ve gone 20-24 since then, yet it feels way worse than that. There was the 7-game losing slump in mid-May that had many mashing the “Cuncel da Saeson” button. And, it’s rare that anyone will Un-Cuncel, but it happened in 2015.

Not gonna lie, I was chomping at the bit to un-cuncel this season. When the Metros won eight of ten games against the Rangers, Braves, and Cubs from June 7th to the 14th, my fingers got triggered. I was ready to declare redemption.

Then, Los Mess lost three of four to the Nats at home in really depressing fashion. The lone win on Father’s Day wasn’t even enjoyable. Then, they get their asses handed to them by the Dodgers at Ravine. When Cody Bellinger hit that three-run homer in the first inning to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead, I turned it off. I have zero interest in watching any Mets game in which they’re down by four or more runs. That’s a loss 99% of the time in 2017.

Which brings us back to Puma’s article on trade possibilities. The excerpt that stood out to me the most is below:

“A club source speculated that if the Mets could receive a “whiff” of .500 by the All-Star break they might be aggressive at the trade deadline, particularly pertaining to a bullpen that could use a proven arm.”

What the Joe Buck is a “whiff” of .500?

Let’s look at the schedule leading up to the All-Star break:

  • 3 more games in LA (45-26, 2nd place in NL West)
  • 3 games in San Fran (26-46, 5th place in NL West)
  • 3 games in Miami (31-37, 3rd place in NL East)

That stretch alone might murder any chance of contending. But, in the event ya absolutely gotta believe…

  • 3-game home stand against the Phillies (22-46, 5th place in NL East)
  • 3 games in D.C. (42-28, 1st place in NL East)
  • 3 games in St. Louis (31-37, 3rd place in NL Central)

Sure, the Mets will only face two winning teams, but they’re playing 15 of the next 18 games away from Citi with only two teams sporting worse records than them. The path might not be so harsh after all, considering the Mets have a better winning percentage on the road.

Regardless, what the jefe is a “whiff” of .500? Is that 3 or 4 games below .500? At 31-38, the Mets would have to play .500 ball, going 9-9, to get that sweet “whiff”. They could get there with series wins over the Giants and Phillies and splitting with – or taking – either the Miami or St. Louis series. So far, the Mets are 4-6 against Miami and haven’t played The Lou.

My opinion? The Mets are done. Let the rebuild begin. Puma suggested dealing Addison Reed, Lucas Duda, Jerry Blevins, Jay Bruce, and Neil Walker, all of whom will be free agents in 2018 with the exception of Blevins, who has a team option. My gut says the team will decline that option.

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Taking another look at the current salaries and contracts, I’d go so far as dealing Asdrubal Cabrera (team option in 2018), Wilmer Flores, Travis D’Arnaud, Wheeler, Harvey, and Jeurys Familia.

In return, the Mets could probably pick up more consistent, less injury-prone players. The franchise can also get serious about Gavin Cecchini and Brandon Nimmo then call up top prospects like shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Dominic Smith.

Let’s stop parading out the same sadness every day and start putting out a product to be excited about.

Source: Which Mets would bring back the greatest trade haul? | New York Post

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