For all the talk and speculation about the financial troubles and potential fire sale of elite talent by the New York Mets this season, something significant finally happened during the All-Star Game on July 12.
With Mets GM Sandy Alderson urging people not to read too far into this as a sign that the Mets are giving up on this season, all signs point to the contrary.
So, what does the K-Rod trade tell us about the intentions of New York's front office?
The Mets just traded their closer for two players to be named later.
What team that considers itself a potential contender and wants to do everything it can to win this season trades its closer?
The role of a closer has only become more important as the era of the pitcher has taken shape over the last couple of seasons.
Sandy Alderson says that the Mets are committed to continuing their efforts to win in 2011, but the trade of K-Rod, who owns the all-time single-season saves record, isn't the sign of a GM wanting to bolster his chances of winning at the present time.
The Mets are destined to be doubled-up by the Phillies and Braves again this season.
New York begins second-half play 11 games behind Philadelphia and 7.5 games behind the Wild Card-leading Braves.
The chances that this club, even with the return of many starters from the disabled list, will make a postseason run in 2011 are very slim, which gives Sandy Alderson all the more reason to try and make trades before losing contract-year stars to free agency.
While Mets GM Sandy Alderson has said he will probably not part with Jose Reyes, that statement should probably be taken with a grain of salt, considering New York's dismal financial outlook and the likelihood that if Reyes played out the rest of the season in a Mets uniform, he would be lost to free agency this offseason, leaving the Mets with nothing in exchange.
Carlos Beltran has been the topic of trade chatter lately, and it's a good bet that both he and Reyes will move before July 31.
K-Rod has kissed New York goodbye.
Francisco Rodriguez became the first Met to be shipped off in the wake of the financial crisis the franchise suffered after the Bernie Madoff fiasco.
Given New York's awful financial situation and the fact that they have little chance of making a playoff push, some big names will surely be moving this month.
The question is, to where?