The New York Mets are currently in the midst of their worst slump of the 2012 campaign. After heading into the All-Star break with a surprising record of 46-40, Terry Collins and company are now under .500 for the first time all year.
Johan Santana and Dillon Gee now find themselves on the disabled list, with Gee's injury being labelled as a potential season-ending issue.
There is hardly any power in the lineup, there are too many left-handed bats, and the bullpen is reminiscent of the last few weeks of the 2007 and 2008 seasons when nobody could get anybody out.
Something needs to be done in Flushing. A move must be made that injects some life into this seemingly declining club as well as Citi Field.
Here are five creative trades ideas that would help Sandy Alderson do just that.
The proud owner of a 2.11 ERA, the 35-year-old will definitely come cheaper than some of the other big names on the market. Chicago is in the midst of a fire sale, as the organization will find itself in the doldrums of the NL Central for the next couple of seasons at least.
He's old enough to bring in with a relatively decent crop of young players, and Lucas Duda and Matt Den Dekker are exactly that. Obviously, it might be a bit hard to sell the Cubs on this deal, but another player could be thrown in to make it happen.
Terry Collins has way too many lefties in his lineup, and Duda doesn't appear to be all he was cracked up to be when he first joined the show. Den Dekker is a solid prospect, but he's hitting just .213 with the Buffalo Bisons through 36 games.
Dempster isn't going to be around for much longer, and the Cubs know that they won't get a king's ransom in return for him. That's something the Mets could use to their advantage.
The New York Mets' bullpen is one of the worst—if not the worst—in the entire league. Every time somebody comes running out of the pen, you just know that no lead is safe.
The team has survived in spite of the awful relief pitching, but now it's starting to catch up to them all at once. This horrifyingly bad bullpen has blown 16 saves, the third-most in the majors.
Kansas City has been a perennial bottom feeder for some time now, and it wouldn't be a stretch to believe that it would like to take on a young arm in exchange for Broxton, whose contract is up at the end of the year.
In 33 games, Broxton has a 2.14 ERA and 22 saves for the Royals.
Jeurys Familia has had a rough go at it in the minor leagues as a starter, but according to NJ.com, he's going to stay in that role.
It would be irresponsible to hold onto Familia if the Royals were indeed interested. He seems to be a bit of a head case on the mound at times, and I wouldn't be surprised if he never makes it to the big league club.
Anything that can be done to fix the New York Mets' bullpen needs to be done. If the arms coming out of the pen weren't so useless, the Mets would easily have five more wins to their credit. At the very least.
Frank Francisco is an adventure in the ninth inning, but he really hasn't been as bad as many people think he is. Sans a few brutal blown saves, "Frank Frank" has gotten the job done most of the time this year, albeit very shakily.
According to New York Daily News writer Andy Martino (via Twitter), the Mets have shown interest in the All-Star closer:
Mets already actively working to get bullpen help. Called Padres to ask about Huston Street, per source.
— Andy Martino (@SurfingTheMets) June 30, 2012
Street has a 0.95 ERA to go with a 0.64 WHIP for the lowly San Diego Padres who will most certainly look to shop at least a few players around before the trade deadline.
If the Mets could have both Francisco and Street in the last two innings of the game, there would be a lot less question marks regarding who can come in and get three consecutive outs on a given night.
Minnesota Twins lefty Francisco Liriano is an enigma if there ever was one. There isn't an explanation for his up and down career, but it's entirely possible that a change of scenery would be beneficial to the 28-year-old starter.
According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, numerous teams have shown interest in Liriano.
His 4.81 ERA isn't anything to write home about, but he's struck out 25 batters in his last two starts. Since his return from being exiled to the bullpen, he's compiled a 2.85 ERA in 63.1 innings pitched.
I'm pretty set on the New York Mets trading Lucas Duda. Obviously, I have no authority on the matter, but he's not producing as much as he was expected to and is a liability in the outfield.
Sandy Alderson would definitely need to send a young arm to Minnesota in order to acquire Liriano, but that doesn't mean it has to be Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey or Jeurys Familia.
The Twins are definitely looking for some young talent, and the Mets have a respectable amount of that in the lower levels of the organization.
I know, I know. Why would I ever want to see the New York Mets trade the man who threw the first no-hitter in team history just over a month ago? It's not that I would be happy if it happened, but it would make sense for the future of the organization.
There is plenty of interest in Justin Upton all around the league, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. If the Mets threw in Jeurys Familia, Cesar Puello, Matt Den Dekker, Jenrry Mejia or Lucas Duda, the Arizona Diamondbacks might like what they see.
Terry Collins desperately needs a right-handed bat in the lineup. A lineup has to have just the right amount of lefties for it to work. Too much of a good thing will kill you (and by "kill you," I mean cause a team's exciting season to come to a screeching halt within a two-week span).
Santana's departure would be a tough pill to swallow, but remember, the title of this article contains the words "creative trades," not the words "100 percent realistic and perfectly feasible trades that will make everybody happy."
"No-han" has been dealing this year, but lately he's been having a problem with the one pitch that he can't have a problem with if he's going to be successful. The changeup isn't what it used to be. Whether it is because of his ankle injury remains to be seen, but he's having a lot of trouble on the mound.
Before you go to town on the comment section, you should know that I wrote an article awhile back regarding whether the Mets should send their ace elsewhere. That was before I knew that Upton would be on the market in July.