As a top draft pick back in 2005, Mike Pelfrey was expected to be a top pitcher for the Mets in the years to come. Although he had two very solid seasons in 2008 and 2010, he has been inconsistent in 2011 and has not pitched like the ace he was expected to be.
In the upcoming offseason, the Mets and General Manager Sandy Alderson may make some drastic changes to the team personnel, and it's possible that Pelfrey would be traded if the Mets can get a lot in return. The team's biggest needs include more pitching depth, both within the rotation and the bullpen, plus a solid second baseman, right fielder and a shortstop in case Jose Reyes does not return.
This being said, here are five trade packages the Mets could get in return for Mike Pelfrey.
One trade package that could work for the Mets is if Pelfrey is traded to the Red Sox, potentially for John Lackey. If Jose Reyes does not return to the Mets, they could also try to acquire Red Sox utility infielder Jed Lowrie if the top Red Sox prospect Jose Iglesias is prepared to become their everyday shortstop in 2012.
Another person the Mets could try to acquire from the Red Sox would be their setup man Daniel Bard, who could become the Mets' closer if Bobby Parnell needs more time to develop his secondary pitches.
The Mets and Rockies could swap headache for headache by trading Pelfrey for the veteran Aaron Cook, who has had a disappointing 2011 campaign. Cook's current contract has a mutual option for 2012, so if the Rockies do not feel like bringing him back, they could trade him away.
Another intriguing option from the Rockies that could benefit the Mets is outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, whose current contract is up after 2011. Spilborghs could replace Scott Hairston as a dependable part-time outfielder and right handed bat off the bench. New York could also look to acquire former Met Ty Wigginton or Melvin Mora to strengthen the bench as well.
Another swap the Mets could do would be to trade Pelfrey to the Reds for Edinson Volquez.
Volquez has battled various injuries over the past few years, but when healthy is one of the better pitchers in the league. He is 5-5 with a 5.80 ERA this year, so the Reds may be getting impatient with him. However, he could completely turn himself around at a pitchers' park like Citi Field.
The Mets could also look to acquire second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Reds, who has a $12 million option for 2012 with a $1 million buyout. The Reds may not want to pay him as he gets to his thirties, but the Mets could swoop in and make Phillips their second baseman. This would immediately end any more spring training competitions the Mets would have at second base so they can focus on improving other positions.
Yet another team the Mets could trade Pelfrey to would be the White Sox, a team that would definitely like to have another young right-handed pitcher.
The White Sox have former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy, who despite going through a few injury issues the past few years, could get healthy and become a dependable veteran presence on a young Mets rotation.
The only drawback to acquiring Peavy—besides the injury history—is the fact that Peavy will be owed $39 million over the next two seasons. Nonetheless, if the Mets really feel like taking a gamble, Peavy could provide a lot of upside down the road.
Trading Pelfrey to the White Sox would also reunite him with former teammate Phil Humber who came up the Mets' farm system with Pelfrey.
Finally, a great (but more unlikely) deal for the Mets could occur with the Mariners.
The Mets and Mariners have had a good history of trading, with the J.J. Putz trade in the 2009-2010 offseason being the most recent.
The Mariners currently have one of the best pitchers in the game with the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez as their ace. During the past few seasons, the Mariners have pretty much been going nowhere and there have been a lot of rumors about the Yankees trading for Hernandez.
With this being said, the Mets should at least try to negotiate with the Mariners to acquire Hernandez. There is a very good chance that Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson would be more than happy to part ways with pitchers like Pelfrey and even rookie Dillon Gee in order to obtain Hernandez, who would become a co-ace for the Mets in 2012 with a healthy Johan Santana.
Furthermore, Chone Figgins has become a bust with the Mariners and the Mets could try to acquire him, which would give more speed in the lineup in case Jose Reyes goes elsewhere in the offseason.