It has been a long time since the New York Mets have acquired an elite-level player at the trade deadline. It has not been too long since they have traded a top prospect for a player they believed to be elite.
No need to remind fans how trading prospects for "major league arms" panned out. I am not talking about Bartolome Fortunato either.
Could the Mets surprise everyone and pull off a deal for an ace in order to make a push for the second wild card in which they remain 5.5 games out?
This year, the status of the Mets at the deadline has changed in a New York minute.
At 47-49 they are now serious threats to Philadelphia for the cellar position in the division.
Now, it was obvious from the beginning of the season that the Mets' front office—Sandy Alderson in particular—is extremely wary of jeopardizing their future for short-term success.
In my opinion, however, the NL East may actually be stronger in the coming years than this season. There has been much more underachieving in the division than overachieving.
The Phillies were without their third and fourth-place hitters for most of the season in addition to their ace. This is the same club that increased their win totals for five consecutive seasons, culminating in a 102-win season in 2011.
Atlanta was lauded for their incredible pitching depth prior to the season. With the season-ending injuries to Brandon Beachy and the inexplicable struggles of Jair Jurrjens and Julio Teheran, they have only scratched the surface of their potential.
Then there are the Miami Marlins who have endured season-long struggles from all-star caliber players, such as Heath Bell, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes.
Is it possible that they will never regain their previous form, and Miami will be forced to suffer through their contracts the way Jason Bay has handcuffed the Mets? Possibly.
What does this mean for the 2012 Mets at the trade deadline?
The Mets' best chance to make a playoff run may not be in 2013-14 but rather this very season.
If Johan Santana returns from the disabled list after the 15-day clock and is revitalized the way he entered the season, then the Mets are extremely fortunate.
In the coming days, however, if it is revealed that Johan is out for an extended period of time, the Mets could cover up their gaping hole atop the rotation with another ace.
An ace that is 28 years old, sporting a 4.18 K/BB ratio and is suddenly hearing rumors, reported by Ken Rosenthal , that the Natonals are inquiring about him.
The Mets would be unable to acquire a top-flight pitcher without including a major-league ready four or five-star prospect being included in the deal.
Even with Matt Harvey set to make his major league debut Thursday, could the Mets pull off a swap that would put them back in the hunt while leaving their division leaders searching for a replacement for Stephen Strasburg after his 160 innings cap is up?
This is all speculation, and Sandy Alderson himself has reiterated there is not much in terms of help on the trade market.
If that is the case, then why are the Atlanta Braves close to acquiring one of the top pitchers in the National League this season?
How did the crosstown rival New York Yankees steal Ichiro Suzuki?
Most Mets fans have an appreciation for what Alderson has done for the organization in terms of getting blue-collared players that are easy to root for and not overwhelmed by the New York pressure.
At the same time, who is to say that any of these homegrown players or prospects will become superstars?
We have seen plenty of "sure things" become answers to trivia questions, such as: "Which former Mets prospect released a rap song in 2006?"
I am not suggesting that the Mets destroy everything they have built in Binghamton and Buffalo over the past two seasons, but it is clear that their major league club overachieved in the first-half; and they are about to crumble in July for the fourth-consecutive season.
Are we supposed to wave the white flag and root for Matt Harvey to not have the abysmal bullpen cost him victories as they have cost everyone else?
With each passing day, the Mets are becoming increasingly exposed and undermining all the positive vibes of April through June. Alderson needs to make a deal for impact arms—namely, relievers.
Would it be a mistake to trade their first pick in the 2010 draft?
Yes, as I would not trade Harvey or Zack Wheeler, but they need to lay off the "untouchable" labels for everyone else in the minor leagues and make a deal that can stop the embarrassment of the past two weeks.
Another fourth or fifth-place finish would destroy much of the credibility this club built up early on and make it tougher for fans to buy into early-season success in 2013.
With the deadline one week away, there is still time. But the clock is dwindling faster with each passing day.
Any arguments? Tell me on Twitter: @V1nsane