The Mets have surprised everyone this year by playing very well so far in 2012. Many people had projected them to not play well during what was supposed to be a rebuilding season.
However, the Mets have gotten a lot of great results out of their lineup, and their rotation in particular. David Wright is a strong MVP candidate, R.A. Dickey is the NL Cy Young Award favorite right now and Johan Santana made huge headlines by giving the Mets their first no-hitter in franchise history.
One troubling area for the Mets though has been their bullpen.
It got off to a great start overall at first, but closer Frank Francisco has been inconsistent all season. He has had occasional meltdowns, both with his pitching and with his emotions. Even when Francisco has picked up his 18 saves, he has walked the tightrope and not made his job look particularly easy by allowing a ton of hits and walks. This would explain why his ERA is at 4.97, despite the 18 saves.
Beyond Francisco, most of the other relievers have struggled at times.
Jon Rauch has been inconsistent and has recently gotten demoted from his set-up role. Ramon Ramirez had struggled at times before getting hurt while celebrating Santana's no-hitter. Bobby Parnell got off to a slow start, but has improved his pitching a lot as of late. Miguel Batista has had his bad moments, although he has pitched well for the most part as a reliever. The only reliever that has been rather consistent is the veteran lefty specialist Tim Byrdak, who has stranded most of his inherited runners.
If the Mets really want to stay in the contention, it is imperative that they improve their bullpen significantly.
Getting a new closer would be huge so that the Mets can have a dependable pitcher that will consistently get the job done. Francisco is a good closer, but the Mets could certainly use a better one if they plan on playing in October. If they are unable to land a better closer, they should at least trade for better bullpen depth.
Here are five closers that the Mets should target before the trade deadline.