There have been many reports about the Mets going after a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. Numerous players, and even manager Jerry Manuel, have been advocating for the Mets to make a move.
The confidence of this Mets team is hitting a high level right now, and the feeling is that a pitcher of Cliff Lee's caliber could really put them in a great position to compete for the division and go deep into the playoffs.
Things are finally working out for this team. They have been playing great, they just finished a road trip going 7-2, and they just got the news that Carlos Beltran is going to begin his rehab assignment in single-A ball and may be back in the majors in three to four weeks.
Mike Hale of the NY Post reported that the Mets seem to be willing to trade for Lee without having any window of opportunity like they had with Johan Santana to work out an extension. In other words, they don't mind the rental and feel confident that they would be able to sign him in the offseason.
The Mets also appear unwilling to part ways with Ike Davis, Jon Niese, or Jenrry Mejia in any deal for Lee. The Mets feel they have enough to offer without using those three in a deal.
A question I have with that is, if the Mets can trade for Lee without giving up Davis, Niese, or Mejia, and they are willing to just settle for a rental, why don't they go after two pitchers?
If the Mets can get Lee without giving up those three young players, they should also be able to get another pitcher—maybe not of the same caliber, but at least a decent pitcher who has a contract that runs beyond this season. That is something that could be insurance for the Mets, because if Lee signs elsewhere, you get two prospects and still have a decent pitcher for next year.
A pitcher of a lesser caliber will not cost the Mets too much in prospects. If they are willing to take on salary, they can even get two high-caliber pitchers. Oswalt has a big contract, so the Mets could be willing to take on his contract and give up less so it works in their favor, but as of now the Mets don't seem inclined to go after Oswalt.
I don't see any reason why the Mets couldn't get two pitchers before the deadline. Some may not agree with getting two pitchers, but everyone knows that pitching wins championships; even GM Omar Minaya agrees, and he went as far as to say that you could never have enough pitching.
That would raise a question with Takahashi and Dickey, but that problem can be easily solved by putting them in the bullpen, which has some question marks such as the set-up role, which even K-Rod feels needs to be addressed.
If the Mets play it smart, they can really do some great things before the trade deadline and put themselves in great position to win.