MLB Trade Deadline: Some Possible Targets If Mets Keep It Going
The Mets' momentum has culminated with the franchise's first no-hitter, thrown by Johan Santana.
Following suit, R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese tossed two gems respectively to help sweep the defending World Series champions.
However, spectacular pitching isn't enough to fuel a Mets playoff run.
They hope to continue their winning ways but are missing a few key pieces as they attempt to win the NL East championship.
The Mets have a little less than two months before the non-waiver trading deadline, and if they are still contending in July, don't be surprised to see this team make some moves for the stretch run.
Conor Jackson and the First Base Debacle
As of June 3rd, first baseman Ike Davis is batting .166 with 53 strikeouts, 28 hits and 21 RBI.
His hitting slump doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon and Terry Collins needs to consider another option if the Mets want to be in the playoffs.
Seeing as how the Mets are not interested in breaking the bank to bring in a high-profile player, according to Buster Olney of ESPN (h/t metsblog.com), Conor Jackson may be a good fit for the team.
Conor Jackson has fallen on hard times recently which may make him a good (read cheap here) pickup. He is a part of the White Sox organization now and has been on their Triple-A team in Charlotte.
Due to his versatility, Jackson can also be used as a pinch hitter and in the outfield. This is great since the Mets' outfield has been banged up this season.
The Mets can send Ike to Buffalo to work out of his slump while Jackson will fill in at first. The worst outcome is that Davis does not shake this funk; Conor Jackson will hit above the Mendoza line and have a stronger presence in the lineup.
The best scenario would be that Jackson will grow comfortable in Citi Field and batting in sixth position will lead to a resurgence in his career as Ike regains some composure at the plate.
The Mets could just trade a minor league player straight-up or even just buy out Jackson's contract.
They would receive a player who can play both first base and left field as well as contribute more to the offense while maintaining the team's level of defense.
Conor Jackson might be one answer to the Met's ongoing problem at first base.
Mets Bullpen: Farnsworth Back in New York?
The relief pitcher had success in Tampa Bay last year, saving 25 games, recording 51 strikeouts and posting a 2.18 ERA.
Farnsworth would provide a lot of stability to the bullpen that has been shaky this season. The Mets are 28th in the majors with a team ERA of 5.34, third with 123 earned runs, and 180 strikeouts.
Farnsworth will help lower these averages as well as shut down some of the batters in the NL East.
His veteran experience will help stabilize the bullpen and set a precedent of working pitchers in the count. His aggressive style of play on the mound will motivate the other relief pitchers to be more aggressive in their pitch selections.
Tampa Bay has him inked him for a one year, $ 3.25 million contract and the club has exercised their option for this season.
The Mets have enough cash to justify some splurging on such a high-level relief pitcher. He might be exactly what the Mets need to anchor their bullpen.
Ryan Dempster and the Fifth Starting Pitching Spot
As the Cubs sit in the bottom of the NL Central, nearly every player on the team is available except for Starlin Castro (according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports) and Jeff Samardzija (according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today).
With Ryan Demptser in his final contract year, look for the Cubs offer him to other teams for some high level prospects and a high-end pitcher.
Currently, he has an ERA of 2.90 with 19 earned runs, 19 walks, and 54 strikeouts through nine games this season.
He is currently owed $14 million and based on Buster Olney's reports, the Mets may not want to go after Dempster if his price is too steep.
The Mets will not get rid of Zack Wheeler or Matt Harvey because those two are about a year away from making quality starts in the majors.
If Dempster wants to be a part of a playoff team, the Mets should make an offer and see if he is willing to come over to the NL East.
If the Cubs continue to slide into late June, expect Dempster to mull some options.
The Mets have a payroll of $94,508,822 and could try and take on some of Dempster's contract in his final year. If he does come over and pitch well, they would restructure it.
Citi FIeld might be a good fit for him.
Jason Bay: A Future in Citi Field?
Jason Bay has been assigned to Port St. Lucie for his rehab assignment and has been looking better each successive day, according to mets.mlb.com.
Terry Collins has said that Bay has not fielded any balls yet but is considering bringing Bay back up for this week's interleague series against the New York Yankees.
His ribs have not been affecting his swing so we'll see how he holds up.
With respect to Jason Bay, his time with the Mets can be described as lackluster at best.
In 233 games, Bay has batted .251, with 211 hits, 109 RBI and 21 home runs.
For various reasons, Bay has not become the offensive powerhouse the Mets envisioned when they signed him in 2010 for $66 million.
Seeing as he is in his penultimate year as a Met, the front office should consider shopping him around to some teams in the AL in the need of a power-hitting DH until he fully recovers.
Despite his various injuries, Bay still has plenty of power so teams like Blue Jays and the Red Sox should be interested in him, although the former will look to at him as more of a DH whereas Boston is in desperate need of more outfielders.
The Mets will shop him to teams that have enough cap space for his contract as he is owed $16 million this year and $17 million next year.
Since Bay has a no-trade clause in his contract, he will need to approve any trade offers but he may consider some as he is coming off the DL, as long as he goes a playoff contending team.