As ball clubs across the country make bold moves before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the New York Mets have virtually done nothing. Secondary back-up shortstop Omar Quintanilla was sent to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations and pitcher Miguel Batista is now with the Atlanta Braves, but none of the trade rumors that have surfaced on the Internet have come to fruition.
Colorado Rockies right-handed catcher Ramon Hernandez is allegedly too expensive for the cash-strapped team. Relief pitcher Tim Byrdak has wound up in the rumor mill, but he remains on the roster. Various teams, including the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers, have expressed interest in left fielder Scott Hairston, but according to the Star Ledger the Mets want him to play another season. The New York Post, however, is reporting that ownership has its ears open. But three days prior to the deadline Hairston remains on the bench.
A one-year contract will presumably rise above Hairston’s current price of $1.1 million. The Mets are in search of a right-handed power bat, and they should not have to look any further past what they already have. Hairston is .259/.300/.514 with 12 home runs and 16 doubles in 83 games this season. Outfielder Jason Bay is clearly incapable of fulfilling the Mets’ need for a right-handed slugger. However, with Mike Baxter set to return on Monday and the eventual comeback of Lucas Duda once he finds his swing in the Minors, the outfield will be crowded, and Hairston’s breakthrough season off the bench could be lucrative in a trade.
What is most alarming is that the Mets have lost 12 games since the All-Star break and general manager Sandy Alderson has not taken any action. A move for a new relief pitcher (San Diego Padres reliever Huston Street has come up in trade rumors on Mets Blog) could have helped lower the Mets’ MLB-worst bullpen ERA.
If something isn’t broken there is no need to fix it, but ignoring major cracks as the water seeps through is unacceptable.