The Mets have finally sent Jenrry Mejia down to the minors to stretch him out to be a starter. So the question is, are the Mets sending him down to stretch him out to be a starter in their rotation, or to trade him?
Jenrry Mejia is the Mets' top prospect who has shown dynamite stuff and demonstrated that he can succeed in the major league level. He is only 20 years old and pitches into the mid 90's. Mejia had a 3.25 ERA in the majors and struck out 17 batters he faced.
Some would feel that trading Mejia would only mortgage the future, but here are some reasons why that isn't so.
The Mets have been doing well with drafting pitchers: They just drafted Matt Harvey out of UNC, who has been compared to Mike Pelfrey. Scouts are predicting that he will quickly make it to the majors fast.
They also have a pitcher Mark Cohoon in the lower A class where he pitched three consecutive complete game shut outs with a record of 7-1. He also went 9-2 last year with the Cyclones.
The Mets have basically been doing a good job with drafting pitchers.
If you could trade for Lee, but had to either give up Niese or Mejia, it would be smarter to trade Mejia. Niese is doing well right now. He has better stuff and more secondary pitches than Mejia. Mejia needs to develop more secondary pitches if he wants to be successful in the majors, and right now he doesn't have them.
Jenrry Mejia has a bright future and it's going to be a sacrifice giving him up, but in order to get a pitcher of Cliff Lee's caliber you are going to have to make that kind of sacrifice. Now I'm not saying that the Mets should jump the gun here; they are going to have to be smart about how they this, because there is going to be competition for a player like Lee.
The Mets have expressed interest in Fausto Carmona who is having a great year, but he's being compared to Oliver Perez in having problems with his command. There are questions about whether or not he can be successful on the New York stage.
The Mets don't need question marks. They have enough of that. They need a definite. It's going to be a gamble either way, but it's less of a gamble with Lee—you're only gambling because you don't have him locked up beyond this season.
The Mets should not wait too long, despite the success they are getting from Takahashi and Dickey. The bullpen is shakey right now, so the Mets could use them both in the bullpen as well as the rotation. With a rotation of Santana, Pelfrey, Lee, and Niese, you have room to experiment with the fifth spot.
We'll see what the Mets will do in the next couple weeks as the trade deadline approaches.