Should Mets Clean the Farm for a Pitcher?

As you know, MetsToday welcomes feedback, commentary, questions, and opinions from you, the visitor. Usually the discussion takes place in the comments section, but sometimes a question comes up that doesn’t apply to a specific post. As a result, I do on occasion receive excellent questions via email, and try to answer them here whenever possible — for the benefit of everyone.

So, from the MetsToday mailbag is this question … er, demand … from “Nicky A”:

Joe, I demand you address the trade deadline and whether or not the Mets should go all in for a starting pitcher or pick up another part to the rotation. Shouldn’t it be acceptable to clean out the farm, sans Ike Davis, Mejia, for Danny Haren?

First off, thank you for the demand, Nicky. Lord knows I don’t have enough demands placed on me over the course of a day. Second, consider the trade deadline addressed as well as a letter to Santa — because if a frontline starting pitcher like Danny Haren suits up in the orange and blue in 2010, it will feel like Christmas to Mets fans.

In all seriousness, you pose an intriguing thought that nearly every Mets fan has at least entertained at one point or another this season. If the Mets keep their current hot streak going, and stay near or at the top of the NL East come the All-Star Break, should they mortgage the future for a shot at something special in the present?

Though this won’t be a popular answer, my answer is a resounding YES. Why? Because the Mets are likely to deal away whatever prospects they have in the offseason, to address a need from the past. See: JJ Putz, Johan Santana, Carlos Delgado, Brian Schneider / Ryan Church, et al.

Ever since the fateful Scott Kazmir – for – Victor Zambrano deal, the Mets have been gun-shy in the heat of July, yet trigger-happy in the cold dead of winter. Right now, the Mets need a starting pitcher. I don’t care how well Hisanori Takahashi, R.A. Dickey, and Jon Niese are pitching right now — chances are very good that one if not all fall to Earth eventually, reopening an enormous hole (or holes) in the rotation. Guess what? That hole will remain through the end of this season and will be there to be filled at some point between October and next February. So why not fill it now?

In the case of Cliff Lee, I understand it may not make sense to empty the farm for what is bound to be a three-month rental. But that’s not the case with Haren and Roy Oswalt — both of whom would be under control in 2011. Whether the Mets have the chips to obtain either is questionable, but it’s worth exploring. Adding Oswalt or Haren would instantly make the Mets the favorites in the NL East, and give them the type of starting pitching that can take a team deep into October. Even if it means including Niese in the deal, I’d argue that such a trade makes sense — because not only does it give the Mets a legit shot at the 2010 playoffs, but it further, it sets them up to have the NL East’s best rotation — on paper — to begin the 2011 season.

Mets Mailbag

About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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