While the Mets continue to struggle during this putrid 2009 season, the talk continues, and it's the same thing we have been hearing since the first collapse after the 2007 season.
Break up the core.
At first, I said, "Are you kidding me? You can't break up a talent core of talent like David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran."
Then 2008 came, and the Mets added Johan Santana to that core.
The Mets, again, collapsed late in the 2008 season.
Once again, the talk of the town was to break up the core...and again, I said, "Are you kidding me? We are looking at four of the most talented players in the majors right now, how could you want to trade them?"
We are just about to the halfway mark in the 2009 season and the Mets are sitting under .500, but are only three games out.
The question right now is, will Omar Minaya make a move and acquire a bat to help jumpstart this offense?
He'll probably grab a bat—there's no doubt they could use it, but do the Mets need to start looking at this from a wider angle?
After two collapses and a .500 season so far in 2009, I am really beginning to wonder if breaking up the core of this team should be considered. I know that everyone will say this 2009 season is a fluke because of all the injuries, but it's not just that.
Right now, a player like Jose Reyes has so much value. Why? Because he is just 26 years old, and is in the prime of his career with so much more to come.
He is arguably one of the most unique players in the game, and is a threat in just about every aspect of the game.
Yes, he is only costing the Mets a bit under $6 million this year, is due $9 million in 2010 and an $11 million club option in 2011. Trading with the Red Sox gives Boston, a large market baseball town, the opportunity to lock him up on a big long-term contract if they choose to do so.
Between the age, the talent, and the cheap contract, the Mets could easily turn this situation into a major overhaul for this franchise—especially considering the team's farm system isn't anything to be thrilled about.
I see a perfect fit for Reyes in Boston, and I think the Red Sox front office would heavily consider doing it this upcoming offseason.
I think a swap of Jose Reyes for Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and Michael Bowden would get it done for both teams.
With Reyes, the Red Sox would be getting a five-tool player at shortstop, which has seemingly been a hole for them since they traded Edgar Renteria after the 2005 season. They would also get a viable leadoff hitter that would replace Ellsbury at the top of the order.
Ellsbury would give the Mets a replacement to lead off, and give them speed atop the order, while also giving them a consistent option in left field.
Lowrie would be the replacement at shortstop; however, despite not being the athlete that Reyes is at the position, he has the ability to be a solid defensive shortstop for the Mets.
While he doesn't have a lot of power, Lowrie has a great ability to hit for average and has strong plate discipline, so it's possible that he could be used as the No. 2 hitter. For an added bonus, he's also a switch-hitter.
Bowden is one of the better pitching prospects in the Red Sox farm system, and is the closest thing to major league ready, outside of Clay Buchholz.
With the likes of guys such as Fernando Nieve, Livan Hernandez, and Tim Redding spending time in the rotation right now, the Mets would welcome the opportunity to bring a pitcher like Bowden into the mix to compete for a spot in the rotation along with young pitchers of their own such as Brad Holt or Jonathan Niese.
The problem that always seems to be the issue with Mets fans is that the lack of depth in their farm system always makes those few home-grown prospects that actually do pan out such as David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Mike Pelfrey hard to trade.
Fans tend to grow attached to the younger players, especially when it comes to New York. Smaller market teams may not so much, because they know they have to let go when the player becomes too pricey.
The Mets need to play this situation out like a small market franchise to benefit their team in the long run.
Free agency is not the way to go, and the Mets have a dreadful farm system—at least, in terms of major-league ready talents.
If the Mets want to win now, they are going to have to take a piece of the core and use it to acquire a wide spread of talent that can fill several holes in their team.