Failure To Launch: The New York Mets at the Deadline

Joe FiorelloCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 08:  Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations & General Manager Omar Minaya of the New York Mets looks on before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 8, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Some trades are made to fill a need. These moves fill a hole that everyone can see. They strengthen a weak spot that may have been there all season or may have been created due to injury or underperformance.

Other trades are made to elevate your team to the next level. You're not really filling a hole, just strengthening and improving what you have. 

These are the types of moves that turn a playoff-caliber team into a championship-caliber team overnight.

The Mets have had chances in recent years to make both types of trades and have consistently failed to pull the trigger.

This season, the Mets have the opportunity to make a trade that can fit both criteria. 

They can fill a hole by trading for a guy like Victor Martinez, or a front-end starting pitcher, and once the battery of injured players return (if they actually do), the trade will have added strength for the September push.

Management has said that they are "buyers" going into the trade deadline, but they don't want to give up any of their top prospects.

That idea doesn't make much sense in theory. It seems like an idea as absurd as trying to buy a car without giving the dealership any money. 

How can you make a trade like that?

It's not impossible.

A few National League teams have been able to pull off trades without selling the farm this season. The Phillies are a prime example.

They were able to trade for a legitimate ace, Cliff Lee, without giving up any of their best prospects, which they would have had to do to get Roy Halladay.

This strengthens the top of their rotation and still leaves them in a position to make a deal for Halladay.

I'm not sure how the Mets weren't involved in these talks, if only to drive up the price on the Phillies.

Does Minaya think the Mets don't need any help at the top of the rotation? Is he watching the same season we are?

The Phillies are not the only team able to make a favorable deal without an absurd amount of collateral damage to the farm system.

The Cardinals were able to pick up Matt Holliday for three minor league players, only one of them being a top-level prospect.

Holliday is a middle-of-the-lineup guy that plays a position where the Mets have had weakness for the past few years—left field. 

Trading away one high-level AAA guy for a player of Holliday's caliber seems like a no-brainer. Apparently, the Mets weren't interested.

Even the NL-leading Dodgers have been out there trying to improve their team. They've been linked to guys like Halladay, Jason Frasor, and Matt Capps. 

The Dodgers are clearly not fighting for their postseason lives, but they are still looking to make their team stronger as they make a run at a title.

I feel that Minaya and the Mets missed the boat on guys like Lee and Holliday. I would have gladly parted with similar packages to have either or both of those guys helping the Mets this season and next season.

I still think the Mets need to make a move, if they can pull something off similar to the deals listed above. 

That's easier said than done.

There are only a few hours left to see, but I bet the Mets' roster stays exactly same.

Omar, pull the trigger!

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