The New York Mets are stuck in the proverbial No Man’s Land at this year’s Major League Baseball trade deadline.
2017 MLB Trade Deadline: Why the Mets Are Stuck in No Man’s Land
Most experts are saying the Mets should be sellers, as they stand 10 games back in the Wild Card race, and four of the teams ahead of them end the season in essentially a round robin against each other. The same experts are calling on the Mets to bring up their young minor league stars to give them a crack at the show and see what they’ve got.
On the surface, the Mets should be sellers based on standings and record. If they were a veteran-laden team with a need to replenish their system, this would be true. However, this year’s trade deadline is a quandary for the Mets, and it’s why they’re stalling on deals that include Jay Bruce. For the Mets, it’s not just about getting value for the players they trade. It’s about two things.
1. They need to maintain their farm system.
2. They need to make sure the environment is conducive to young players they’re trying to mold.
Every season starts fresh, and most professional athletes, coaches, and front office personnel will give the old cliché line, “It’s a new season. Last season doesn’t matter.” That’s a false narrative in this case.
In this case September matters. There’s a chance this team could look as young as the New York Jets roster does when September rolls around. They can develop good or bad habits during this season.
It would be best for the minor league call ups in September if they learn how to win, especially for Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith. Neither of them has experienced winning at the minor league level in the last two seasons. The Binghamton Mets finished 63-77 for fourth place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division, and the Las Vegas 51s currently sit in last place at 37-65.
Winning in September isn’t always about making the playoffs. It might behoove the organization to bring up the young guys to a situation where they could win in September, and build confidence for 2018.
The Mets could also get assets to continue to build toward the future. They could get pieces they could use alongside Smith and Rosario.
They could trade Bruce and/or Lucas Duda and maintain their farm system, but they might risk being able to win in September if they do that.
When you look at the surface, yeah the Mets should be sellers. However, the Mets aren’t just looking at the end of the 2017 season or the 2018 season. The Mets are looking beyond 2018. They’re looking at their young players potentially building confidence that could last for a long time.
It’s very simple to look at the surface. Sometimes you have to look deeper. The Mets appear to be stalling on something that should be obvious. When you look at the big picture, it’s not as simple as it looks. It’s a whole lot more.