Not too long ago, I wrote the New York Mets should stand pat at the trade deadline to make a run at respectability, but with Matt Harvey gone for the year, that goal has been flushed. The gurgling sound you’re now hearing is the news the Mets sent John Buck and Marlon Byrd to Pittsburgh for infield prospect Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.
The garage sale has begun and should not stop. With the Mets’ timetable for competiveness now 2015 instead of 2014, the Mets’ thinking should be to stockpile as many prospects and draft choices as possible, which means it shouldn’t end with Byrd and Buck.
Until the Aug. 31 deadline to make waiver deals, the Mets should be shopping Daniel Murphy, LaTroy Hawkins, Ike Davis and/or Lucas Duda, Scott Atchison and anybody else not fitting in their immediate plans.
Nobody will net a top prospect, such as what the Mets received for Carlos Beltran, but at this point it doesn’t matter. It’s garage sale time, so they should take what they can get.
Byrd was having a tremendous season, well enough for him to want – and warrant – a two-year deal, or one plus an option. Based on their history, the Mets would have offered one and he would walk without the team receiving compensation.
As for Buck, he evolved as Harvey’s personal catcher, but his playing time was reduced with the addition of Travis d’Arnaud. Buck played the good soldier, but realistically, he performed well enough to look for a full time job.
It won’t be with the Mets, and with Harvey likely done until 2015; Buck would not sit around. Catchers in a pennant race, especially those with a little pop in their bat, are valuable to a contender. The Pirates needed relief for Russell Martin, and it didn’t hurt Buck has a National League background.
Buck was terrific for the Mets, but they wouldn’t have gotten anything for him if he left after the season.
The Mets must now make a first base choice between Davis and Duda. It’s not likely they’ll tender Davis a contract, so get something now. That upside the Mets promised with Davis, well, we haven’t seen it.
Duda would be cheaper, so I’m inclined to believe they’d keep him over Davis. They can’t carry both, especially with Duda not playing the outfield.
Murphy is a reliable bat and could come off the bench as a pinch-hitter, and to an American League team, he has DH potential. And, does anybody believe they’ll bring back Hawkins?
Just a few weeks ago the Mets were thinking about .500 and second place. With Harvey and Wheeler, the future looked bright.
Not so much now.
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