Sandy Alderson has some difficult decisions to make in the coming weeks
At 46-40 and only 4.5 games back of first place in the NL East, the New York Mets are doing something not many fans or experts expected: contending.
On the verge of a playoff run, the team still has many holes to fill. Specific needs include a solid outfielder to replace the struggling duo of Andres Torres and Jason Bay, a reliable backup catching option and an experienced reliever to come in and shut the door late in games.
While not all of these holes can be filled and it is unlikely that the Mets will part with any of their top prospects, New York is considered one of the few teams that are "a player away" from making the playoffs.
The current Padre and former White Sox outfielder has only played in 33 games so far this season, but his power is still there. The 29-year-old right-hander already has seven home runs, is hitting a respectable .268 and boasts a 1.000 fielding percentage.
A natural left fielder, Quentin would be a perfect fit for the injured and slumping Jason Bay. With only $3.5 million in remaining salary, the Mets would be foolish not to inquire about Quentin.
Broxton, the Kansas City closer, would be another ideal fit for the Mets. He signed a one-year, $4 million deal in the offseason and is playing for a team that likely won't contend for a playoff spot this year.
So in typical Kansas City form, the Royals will be looking to sell their expiring talent for prospects at the deadline. With 21 saves and a 1.99 ERA, Broxton seems like a much better closing candidate than Frank Francisco.
This one may seem like a reach, but the Diamondbacks are extremely willing to deal Upton to create salary space and acquire some top prospects. The 24-year-old outfielder is in the third year of a six-year, $50 million contract so while expensive, he is still making less than Jason Bay.
It would likely cost the Mets a top prospect and a few other players, but Upton would provide another big bat in the lineup and a tremendously talented glove in the outfield. So the odds aren't in the Mets' favor, but they have the cap and the prospects to potentially pull it off.
The sidearming lefty for the Oakland A's has two very important things going for him that work in the Mets' favor: He plays for a team that is a perennial seller at the All-Star break, and he is a good player that is having a tough season.
Many times, a change of scenery is just what a player needs to find his groove again. This would be an especially important signing for the Mets because it would give them another lefty option out of the 'pen other than "Everyday Byrdak."
Hernandez, the 36-year-old backup catcher for the Rockies, is another player that the Mets have been extremely interested in during the trade deadline. Although not yet off the DL, Hernandez is an experienced catcher who could work well with pitchers on Josh Thole's off days as well as provide a little power in a pinch-hitting role.
With struggling backups in Rob Johnson and Mike Nickeas, the Mets could use a more reliable option behind the dish. Look for them to aggressively pursue Hernandez over the break.