The Mets Are What They Are and No One Knows What That Is

Michael Gasparino@gaspoCorrespondent IAugust 1, 2010

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)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

I get it, and I don't get it.

I understand why the Mets didn't make any trade deadline moves, if you're telling me every other team wanted players like Jon Niese, Josh Thole, or Ike Davis. You don't trade those guys unless you're getting someone tremendous in return, and there really wasn't anyone like that out there.

What I don't get, however, is how a team like the Dodgers, in front office disarray with an ownership divorce coming up, is lauded for being bold, while the Mets are considered out of the running.

The Dodgers are a game better than the Mets in the Wild Card race and even further out in their division.

The Mets are in limbo, for sure, and perhaps they are doing the right thing by not dealing away prospects when their grip on the playoff race is as tentative as it is right now.

But then again, Ted Lilly was dealt with Ryan Theriot for Blake DeWitt and a couple of minor leaguers. I find it hard to believe that the Mets couldn't come up with a similar package.

Prospects are just that—prospects. Somehow the Phillies, over the last year, have traded a dozen prospects but held onto the best ones. They've been to two straight World Series and are in position to make another run.

These Mets prospects must be awesome.

But how many of them do you think will make it to the majors, let alone star for the Mets? Jennry Mejia? Maybe Fernando Martinez if he can ever stay healthy? Brad Holt? Wilmer Flores?

The elephant in the room is money, and there have been many reports and rumors that the Mets cannot spend any more. The Madoff thing has been hanging over the club, and the Mets—while having a top-five payroll and signing Jason Bay to a big deal—have certainly looked like a team that won't spend an extra dime to improve their chances of winning ballgames.

Omar Minaya's track record has been consistent. Big moves in the off-season, nothing significant during the season.

I'll take him at his word that deals can be done after players clear waivers. But now that it looks like Brett Myers is going to sign an extension with Houston, and Lilly and Jake Westbrook are gone, I expect nothing to be done, even though acquiring another starter has been a screaming need since spring training.

The Mets are going to the dance (or not) with what brought them this far, and that means Hisanori Takahashi in the starting rotation. He did extremely well on Saturday night, and maybe he and R.A. Dickey can keep it up. Maybe Manny Acosta becomes the hot hand in the bullpen.

Maybe Carlos Beltran's walk-off sac fly sparks his resurgence. Maybe Jason Bay comes off the DL and hits like crazy for the final six weeks.

Lots of ifs and maybes, which is what the season has been like since March. We should be used to it by now.