New York Mets: 7 Players That Can Help Team Make the Playoffs in 2012

Alex Ott@the_otter15Contributor IJuly 26, 2012

New York Mets: 7 Players That Can Help Team Make the Playoffs in 2012

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    In the midst of the worst stretch in recent New York Mets history, fans and (hopefully) the front office are well aware of the necessity for change.

    The team isn't scoring runs, the energy is gone from the field and the bullpen is by far the worst in the majors.

    After just being swept by the Washington Nationals at home, the Mets find themselves 11.5 games out of first place in the division and seven games out of the second wild-card spot in the National League.

    It's now or never time in Queens. If general manager Sandy Alderson doesn't make a move now, all hope will be gone for 2012 and it'll be the all too familiar "better luck next year."

    Here are seven targets the Mets should consider.

Carlos Lee

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    Everyone knows Carlos Lee isn't a strong defensive player, but he would provide a powerful right-handed bat that the Mets desperately need.

    He could platoon with the struggling Ike Davis or be the primary bat off the bench to pinch hit.

    The problem with Lee is his enormous salary. The $19 million he is making this season is out of the Mets' price range, but with two-thirds of the year over and the Marlins likely to eat some of his remaining salary, the Mets should still inquire about Lee.

Francisco Rodriguez

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    Yes, the same Francisco Rodriguez that would make Mets fans cringe when he took the mound in the ninth inning for them.

    The Brewers are likely going to be sellers at the trade deadline, so why not complete nearly the same trade they did when they sent K-Rod to Milwaukee?

    If the Brewers are willing to front a part of Rodriguez's remaining salary, he should be in the Mets' price range. He's not a premiere closer anymore, but the Mets can't afford one anyway.

John Lannan

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    John Lannan, who just last year was starting on Opening Day for the Nationals, has severely fallen off their radar in the time since.

    After Stephen Strasburg returned from injury, and they traded for Gio Gonzalez, the need for Lannan diminished, and he was sent to Triple-A.

    The 27-year-old lefty could be a long-term solution to the Mets' pitching woes if they were able to acquire him from division rival Washington. 

    After spending all year in the minors, you can bet Lannan is ready to go anywhere that lets him pitch at the big league level.

Francisco Liriano

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    The Twins' left-handed starter has two special qualities about him that the Mets could use to their advantage.

    First, he is having a down year at 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA. Second, he only makes $5.5 million this year, which only leaves him at roughly $2 million owed to him over the rest of the season.

    This would be a good move that could largely benefit the Mets and Francisco Liriano.

    He likely needs a change of scenery and to face eight real hitters instead of nine, and the Mets would be obtaining a lefty that could fill Johan Santana's void.

Grant Balfour

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    Oakland's right-hander and Australia native has been having quite a successful season. Thus far, Grant Balfour boasts a 2.93 ERA with seven saves.

    At $4 million, he would be a fit financially if the Mets were willing to send prospects (or someone like Tim Byrdak or Scott Hairston) to Oakland.

Jonathan Broxton

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    The Kansas City reliever has a 2.27 ERA and 23 saves thus far. He's also given up runs in four of his last 10 appearances, which would hopefully drop his price for a team like the Mets.

    Like Balfour, Jonathan Broxton only makes $4 million this year, so even if the Royals weren't willing to help facilitate the deal, the Mets could likely afford him.

    He's an experienced power arm that could save or setup for the Mets, who would be foolish not to consider him.

Matt Harvey

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    Matt Harvey is an in-house option who could greatly improve the Mets.

    The rookie, who makes his first career start tonight in Arizona, has been a top prospect ever since he was drafted in the first round out of North Carolina.

    If he can provide a spark and become a reliable starter for this team, he very well could swing the momentum of the struggling club. 

    A top prospect succeeding at the big league level is exactly what the Mets need.