Change Is in The Air For The New York Mets

Harris DeckerSenior Analyst IJune 23, 2008

So we all know the story, and most Mets fans think that they know how the story will end. I hope that all of our wishes as Mets fans come true.

Jerry Manuel takes over, Reyes, Wright, Beltran, and even Delgado begin to produce, and the Mets take the second half of the season by storm.

This is all well and good and I do think that Manuel has both the credentials and spirit to drive this team to an NL East title. Already we are seeing an increase in energy from some of the key players, and I can only foresee this getting better and better if the Mets can keep winning series.

I would like to think about for a second the possiblity of a trade or two taking play in Queens.

Although the Mets did deplete their farm system when they traded for Johan Santana (a trade that I still believe will work out in the Mets favor), there are still some valuable players that could find themselves packing their bags.

The first player I would like to start with is someone I would be sad to see go. He has been a solid starter for the Mets, and given some quality performances in big games. Oliver Perez, although wild at times, clearly has some great "stuff." As we have seen in flashes of brilliance, with the right coaches he can be a great pitcher in the future.

You might be saying, "if this is all true, why give him up?"

The answer to that question is not a why, but a who. Perez is represented by Scott Boras. Anyone in the game of baseball can associate his name with any number of players, including Bernie Williams, Alex Rodriguez, and Barry Zito.

My problem with Perez will be that even after what has been a mediocre season so far, Boras will still most likely be seeking a very long term, very high paying contract. I would estimate somewhere around $10-$15 million a year.

This is simply too high for someone like Oliver. On the contrary, the Mets could trade him and probably get back some decent young players, or even a solid outfielder to replace Alou (until Fernando Martinez is ready).

One thing I would say about Oliver. Given his potential upside, Omar would have to find a suitor outside of the division and possibly even outside the league. He could go to a team that needs more pitching down the stretch, such as Tampa, Minnesota, or Detroit. Each of those teams could have something in the minors or even at the major league level that the Mets could use right now.

Of course stepping into the No. 4 spot in the rotation would be Pelfrey and then you are leaving an open spot. I believe this can and should be filled by Claudio Vargas. I think that giving up Oliver in the middle of the season is more beneficial than keeping him, because they can get more than they think from him in return.

There are some other players who could move such as Fernando Tatis, Delgado, Alou and Aaron Heilman. However, I just don't know if there is a market for any of these players right now.

I do think that the Mets are on the right track, but need to consider shaking things up a little bit more.