There has been much speculation about Carlos Beltran as we head toward the July trading deadline, and justifiably so assuming Sandy Alderson can secure something of value in return. Of course New York Mets fans want that value to come in the form of a high-end prospect. But despite all the goodwill Beltran has generated this season with his hot bat and dependable play in right field, he will be gone by the end of July even if the Mets have to settle for a salary dump. So let’s look at a couple other moves the Mets should (but probably won’t) make:
- Daniel Murphy has demonstrated two things this season. First, he is a competent but unspectacular defensive corner infielder. Second, he is a legitimate major league bat though more a doubles hitter than a home run threat. He is not going to replace David Wright or Ike Davis at the corners, and will enter 2012 without a defensive position in an infield crowded with other youngsters including Justin Turner, Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda. He would be attractive to any AL contender looking for a bat, or to any NL team with a hole at the corners. Why not move him now and secure some value in return? Given his age and contract status, he could be more valuable than Beltran in the trade market.
- Jose Reyes is having an MVP caliber season. But along with Beltran, Reyes has been a lightning rod for fans the last few seasons because he has been an injury prone underperformer. Mets fans have an amazingly short term memory and an equally startling short term vision in the case of Reyes. Jose is a hamstring injury waiting to happen as we’ve already seen once this season, and that won’t get any better with age. He will command a huge long-term contract in free agency, one the Mets probably can’t afford. If the Mets do step up and win the Reyes sweepstakes, it will cripple their ability to put salary dollars into the starting rotation which is the real weakness of this team. So the Mets will either lose Reyes in the offseason and receive nothing in return, or burden themselves with a player who will decline quickly after the age of 30. Better to move him now and move on with Wright and Davis as faces of the franchise.
Other players the Mets will probably deal this week include Jason Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak. But they need to be more aggressive and take the risk of truly transforming this team. Murphy and Reyes are having good seasons, and now is the time to cash in on their value and move on as a franchise.