Will Jon Niese be next to leave the Mets?
The worst word a fan could hear about their favorite organization, but a word that must be considered when deciding whether to ship players away or lock them up with long-term deals.
For a team like the New York Mets, it's time to get everything they can for their veterans to prepare for a playoff run three or four years from now whether the Flushing faithful like it or not.
The R.A. Dickey trade was just the beginning. While he's an incredible talent and unlike anything anyone has ever seen, his time is running out. The Mets likely won't be relevant in the next season or two, so acquiring a young catcher and pitcher that can impact the team long-term is a logical deal for the organization.
But who else could be moved before the trade deadline?
Of the pitchers, Jon Niese is the most likely to bid farewell to the Big Apple. As a 26-year-old left-hander with a fastball in the mid-90s, Niese is a rare commodity in baseball. While he has not yet developed into a legitimate ace, Niese is a reliable option as a No. 2 or 3 starter that can log upwards of 200 innings in a season. He's under team control after signing an extension last season, so look for teams to take a run at him if they're one pitcher away from the playoffs.
In the bullpen, Bobby Parnell will likely draw many potential suitors. He's huge, throws upwards of 100 miles per hour, and is only 28 years old. While few believe he has the ability to be a major league closer, he is an incredibly reliable seventh- or eighth-inning option.
Who is next to go for the Mets?
"Murph" is a shaky defender, but he bats lefty and can hit around .300. He's bounced around the field for the Mets, starting games at first, second, third and around the outfield, so he's well-rounded but has yet to perfect a certain spot. His talents would likely be best served being a utility man or designated hitter in the American League.
Duda, like Murphy, lacks a position that could really enhance his value to a National League team. He struggled so mightily after the All-Star break that he was demoted to Triple-A to play his native first base and get confidence back in his swing, but because Ike Davis occupies first and is the better overall player, Duda has no shot sniffing the diamond unless he plays the outfield.
Unusual for a New York team but becoming a way of life, the Mets are beginning to play Billy Beane's infamous "Moneyball" strategy of buying low and selling high. With yet another payroll under $100 million, if the Mets are going to win anytime soon, it's going to be with young talent.