The tradeline passed and the Mets didn’t make a trade outside of the two they already did. Last year’s Mets were similar with players being shipped out for minor league arms and cash throughout August. The difference this year is the players the Mets have to do that aren’t as valuable or movable as last year’s. For example: Granderson, Bruce were on big contracts expiring in 2017. This year only Mesoraco and Blevins have a contract like that. There is a chance Bautista clears waivers but if he doesn’t the Mets lose a lot of negotiating power to make the trade. I don’t buy the line “if the Mets were offered something of value, they would have taken it”, I don’t see how the Mets get more value in this scenario. Even 50-100k of international signing money would be more valuable to the Mets as a whole right now than keeping Bautista on the team.
Anyway, the Mets kept the roster together saying they are looking to contend in 2019. The Mets have pretty much kept the roster together from 2015. The 2017/2018 seasons are two of the worst in the history of the franchise that is known for losing. Frustratingly, this year’s club was built to resemble the previous year’s by resigning players who were free agents back and magically for the Mets almost every free agent signing this off-season has resulted in poor play this year.
I would love to believe in this starting rotation and improved health of the team next year to lead to the Mets contending. But the other teams in the East are getting younger and better. The Mets would have to spend a lot of money smartly this off-season, which is what they haven’t done, in order to do well and the Wilpons would have to see things like the Wright insurance money as money not on the payroll. This lack of hope makes it hard for me to believe the Mets will be different next year. It’s also this lack of hope that feels different for the Mets. There aren’t star players coming up right now, it feels like the Mets are destined to be terrible to mediocre for a while.
Ultimately if the Mets are going to compete, they need to spend money. Here are some players they can spend money on next year and make a difference for 2019. It also means they need to trade players and eat salary in those trades to sign better players.
This has been the problem with the Mets since 2015, the Mets on the field just feel slightly better than the average of what’s on the market, so then they don’t make a move. Frazier blocks any new third basemen from coming in. Last year Cabrera blocks any new second baseman from coming in. The largest block of them all: some how Bruce blocks both a true center fielder from coming in and blocks a first basemen from coming in. The catching pair for d’Arnaud and Plawecki blocks the Mets from spending there. Players are going to need to get moved to other teams creatively in a way that brings back marginal talent (because they can only demand marginal talent) and the Wilpons will have to eat salary. Then the Mets will have roster space to bring in a superstar. Which is what this team lacks, especially without Cespedes.
Otherwise the Mets should really strip down, sell their assets for the best prospects possible, commit to this idea and wait out some these bad contracts.