Are The Mets Buyers Or Sellers This Season?

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New York Mets GM Omar Minaya only has three to four weeks to decide if the Mets will be buyers or sellers on the trade market. The non-waiver trading deadline ends on July 31 so the Mets need to give themselves two to three weeks to work out trades prior to the deadline.

I would imagine that Minaya has no idea what he’s going to do right now. Standing at 7.5 games back of the NL East leading Philadelphia Phillies and two games under .500 after the first 62 games makes their situation ambiguous at best. The Mets need to play 20 games over .500 for the rest of the season to win 90 games which is about what it will take to win the division. If the first two and a half months of the season are any indication, and they are, that is highly unlikely.

The wild card is a long shot right now as well. The St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins are in a much stronger position to make a run, especially the Cardinals playing in a weak division.

That leaves the Mets in the awkward position of potentially scrapping the 2008 season and selling off the team for parts. For a team that went into opening day with a payroll of $137,793,376 the proposition of selling prior to the deadline is a complete and utter embarrassment. Flushing a season down the toilet in New York is particularly difficult because the team’s revenue goals are tied to the tickets sales and television advertising revenue. Last season the Mets sold over 3.8 million tickets and the Mets jointly owned television station SNY generates plenty as long as people are watching. Watching this team becomes more difficult with each passing loss.

Possibly the most embarrassing situation of all would be for the Mets to limp into their new stadium Citi Field. I’m sure that the Mets will sell plenty of tickets despite the team that shows up to play every day. But it’s certainly not what the Wilpons had in mind when they broke ground on Citi Field, a team that’s a reclamation project.

The good news is that the Mets do have plenty of player contract expiring this season and in 2009 that could be moved. They are:

Expiring after 2008 season

  • Carlos Delgado
  • Moises Alou
  • Pedro Martinez
  • Oliver Perez
  • Orlando Hernandez
  • Matt Wise
  • Claudio Vargas
  • Damion Easley
  • Raul Casanova
  • Brady Clark
  • Abraham Nunez
  • Fernando Tatis
  • Tony Armas, Jr.

Expiring after 2009 season

  • Billy Wagner
  • Brian Schneider
  • Scott Schoenweiss
  • Ramon Castro
  • Endy Chavez
  • Marlon Anderson

The good news is that just about everyone with enough service time to be a free agent will be over the next year and a half. So it would be pretty easy to re-make the team nearly from scratch. The Mets are tied to Johan Santana, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and Luis Castillo for the long term. Except for Castillo, that’s the making of the good foundation for a team.

There’s plenty of flexibility with the roster over the next year and a half. Unfortunately, many of the players on the list don’t have much trade value currently. The other problem that the Mets face this season if they decide to dump veterans with expiring contracts is that some other teams are in the same boat. Namely the Tigers will probably be flooding the market with their veteran player as well.

The next few weeks will be very telling about this team and the direction they’re going for the near future. Right now it’s an ugly situation for a high priced team moving into a new stadium.

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About Dave Doyle

Although I don’t have a degree in journalism, I love writing about the New York Mets. I’m the typical writer without access. My only accessibility to the Mets is sitting in the stands (often the upper tank) and watching on TV like most fans. I’m not a member of the media, just a fan expressing opinions.