The trade deadline passed and as expected the New York Mets did not make a move. In previous seasons when one wondered about the futures of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and David Wright for economic reasons, this time they opted not to be sellers.
With nearly $50 million coming off the books next year because of contracts to Johan Santana and Jason Bay, the Mets say they will be active in the winter, mostly in the free-agent market, but for now want to make the most of this season.
Projected to lose as many as 100 games in some circles, the Mets have their eyes on second place in the NL East and a .500 record. It is not out of line. This was exactly the right thing the Mets did.
“We’re trying to win games here,’’ Terry Collins told reporters in Miami. “We’re not just throwing the season away.’’
The Mets’ inactivity must be interpreted in the positive because their message is they believe they have a competitive core, and the pieces everybody wants from them – notably Bobby Parnell and Marlon Byrd – have greater value in Flushing. If the Mets really believe they can be competitive next season they will need a closer, and Byrd is a positive influence on the field and in the clubhouse. All winning teams need players like him.
Since nearly player goes on waivers during the season to gauge trade interest, it is possible something could happen in August, but for now GM Sandy Alderson’s intent is to see how good this team can be over 162 games, and from there, better formulate his shopping needs.
Pitching is always a need and they now have a positive in Jenrry Mejia, tonight’s starter in Miami, who is coming off a solid, seven-shutout inning performance in Washington last Friday.
Mejia has struggled with injuries over the past three seasons, including undergoing Tommy John surgery. It is not unreasonable to speculate Mejia’s injuries were caused by the Mets bouncing him from the rotation to the bullpen back into the rotation. This was precipitated by then manager Jerry Manuel’s insistence in bringing him north out of spring training in 2010 to work out of the pen.
Only Mejia rarely pitched and when he did was usually ineffective. He was optioned to Triple-A, where he started and eventually injured his elbow.
Mejia starts tonight and if he does well will stay in the Mets’ six-man rotation.
With Jeremy Hefner ineffective over his last three starts and Jon Niese recovering from a slight rotator cuff, there’s potential for things to get dicey in the rotation, making it imperative for Mejia to produce.
Here’s the Mets’ lineup behind Mejia tonight:
Eric Young, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Marlon Byrd, RF
Ike Davis, 1B
John Buck, C
Juan Lagares, CF
Omar Quintanilla, SS
Jenrry Mejia, RHP
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