What the Mets Do Next
Much of the Mets’ chances for success this year relied on the bat of Carlos Delgado, who is out until at least mid-July. But, Gary Sheffield stepped up and filled some of the void in the middle of the lineup — though, it wasn’t enough with Carlos Beltran suffering from a stomach bug and Ryan Church on the DL. Still, with Beltran healthy and Church on the way back, it looked as though the Mets could tread water while they waited for Jose Reyes to return to the lineup, which was reportedly “any day now”.
After an MRI revealed a tear in Reyes’ hamstring, that “day” may be in August. To compound matters, J.J. Putz may need elbow surgery — which could knock him out for the rest of the season.
There’s a real possibility we’ll next see Billy Wagner in a Mets uniform before Delgado, Reyes, or Putz.
What will the Mets do next?
Wait, of course. That’s what the Mets do best. They wait. And see. And hope. And drive their fan base crazy.
But what SHOULD they do? Does it make sense to continue crossing fingers, finding fill-ins from the scrap heap, find a way to survive the next two months, and pray that the team is still in sniffing distance of the wild card when the cavalry arrives? And further hope that Delgado, Reyes, etc., can provide an instant spark to push the team into the playoffs?
Or should the Mets empty their farm system of whatever fools’ gold is left and make a blockbuster deal? Something along the lines of a Matt Holliday or a Roy Halladay?
Unlike last year, when the Mets were clearly one bat away from running away with the NL East, this may be a situation where it makes sense to sit on their hands and hope for the best. There aren’t any dominating teams in the NL right now, which means the Mets can keep their head above water by simply not beating themselves. This could be a similar season to 1973, when the Mets went to the World Series with an 82-80 record. Further, the Mets would likely need to acquire at least two impact players, rather than one, to make a serious run. It will take an enormous amount of creativity and luck to bring in the personnel that can erase the missing parts of Delgado, Reyes, Putz, and Ollie Perez, without trading top prospect Fernando Martinez — which is something I don’t see happening nor do I advocate. And even then, chances are good at least one of the players will be a rental, and walk away at the end of the season.
My guess is that there will be a number of deals occurring around MLB in the next few weeks. The Mets are likely to be players, in some capacity. Let’s hope they do the right thing. Though, I’m not sure what the “right” thing is at this point.