With the trading deadline less than three days away, and Carlos Beltran off to San Francisco, one has to believe that the Mets are still wheeling and dealing — despite the public poker face displayed by Sandy Alderson. So what other Mets could be on the block?
Next on the list is Tim Byrdak, as seemingly everyone can use a LOOGY and Byrdak has been adequate in that role — which in 2011 is pretty good. The most obvious possible landing spots are the Yankees and Red Sox, though just about any contender could be bidding. What would he return? Probably not much more than a single-A or AA prospect. But that’s better than nothing, and I remember way back when that the Red Sox traded a young AA first baseman named Jeff Bagwell for situational righthander Larry Anderson.
Even more coveted are setup men and closers, and Jason Isringhausen has shown he can fill either role. Enough with the nonsense of Izzy tutoring Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato — if there is a good deal out there, Izzy is as good as gone. The Rangers, Rays, and Diamondbacks would seem to be suitors, as well as the Phillies, Brewers, and possibly the Yankees. And even though they acquired Octavio Dotel, the Cardinals could be in the mix as well.
As much as I’d like to see him stay, I think the Mets have to consider dealing Ronny Paulino, who is in the midst of his best season since 2006. There is buzz that the Mets would prefer to hold on to him since he’s under control; the only way he can be a free agent is if he’s non-tendered. But I think this is a case where one might want to sell high. Paulino will turn 31 shortly after Opening Day 2012, and catchers tend to fade more quickly than other position players as they get into their 30s. Further, the Mets have done a great job of limiting Paulino’s exposure to righthanders thus far, so his stock is pretty high right now. Both the Giants and the Pirates are in the market for a catcher, and since the Giants have already been a trade partner it’s possible they could be one again. As for the Pirates, they are familiar with Paulino (he came up with them) — which can be a good thing or a bad thing. Paulino is also a player that the cash-strapped Bucs can afford. If the Mets can get another young arm or top-15 position prospect from one of those clubs, they’d have to consider moving Paulino. What will the Mets do for catching next year if Paulino is moved? Good question, but perhaps that can be addressed in another deadline trade — or maybe in a Paulino deal.
Could Angel Pagan be on the move? His down year would suggest not, but the Brewers can use centerfield depth after Carlos Gomez went down with an injury; the Rangers might also be interested. The time to trade Pagan was during or after the 2010 season, when his stock was at an all-time high. He just turned 30 and his game relies heavily on his legs, so there is a short window of opportunity here. It might make more sense to see how he starts out 2012 and deal him at next year’s deadline.
What about Mike Pelfrey? There are suggestions by some that the Mets could consider non-tendering the big righthander. If that’s truly the case, then they must also be quietly shopping him. The Cardinals would have been an obvious spot before the Colby Rasmus – Edwin Jackson trade, but there are other teams that could be interested, such as the aforementioned Tigers and Indians. I see Barry Enright still making starts for the D’Backs, so throw them into the mix as well.
What do you think? Are the Mets done dealing or just getting started? Did I miss anyone who could be on the block? Let me know in the comments.
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.