MLB Trade Speculation: Could Mike Pelfrey Be the First Met on the Move?

Robert KnapelCorrespondent IApril 27, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Mike Pelfrey #34 of the New York Mets pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on April 22, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The trade winds have been swirling around New York recently. Rumors that both Jose Reyes and David Wright may be traded have been discussed ad nauseam. However, these two may not be the first Mets that would be traded this year.

There is a possibility that the Mets could look to trade Mike Pelfrey. Yes, Pelfrey has struggled to begin the season, but that does not mean that he has lost that much trade value.

Last year, Pelfrey went 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA. However, it has become obvious through Pelfrey’s time in the majors that he is not the No. 1 or No. 2 starter that the Mets were expecting him to develop into.

Pelfrey has struggled this early in this season as he has gone 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA. Some of his issues can be chalked up to bad luck.

He has a .356 BABIP this year, well above his career average of .310. In addition, he only has only left 58.8 percent of runners on base, which is off from his career average of 70.6 percent. The third thing that has caused Pelfrey’s struggles is the fact that he is only inducing ground balls 40.4 percent of the time. Compare this with his career average of 49 percent and it is easy to see some of the reasons for his struggles. If you take a deeper look at the numbers and look at Pelfrey’s 4.69 FIP, it is obvious that Pelfrey has been unlucky this year.

With that being said, Pelfrey is still nothing more than a good No. 3 or No. 4 starter. He is currently the No. 1 pitcher on the Mets staff as a result of the injury to Johan Santana. This should be a sign of concern for the Mets since it is clear that Pelfrey should not be the rotation’s ace.

The team appears likely to enter a rebuilding stage after this year. They will need good, talented young players that can develop with the team. They way to acquire these players is through trades.

With the Mets likely to be sellers at the trade deadline, they will be looking to move pieces that have some value. If he can regain the form that he has shown in the past, then Pelfrey certainly has a decent amount of trade value.

Pelfrey is just 27 years old and will not be eligible for free agency until 2014. At the trade deadline, there will certainly be teams that are looking for help for the middle or back end of their rotation. Mike Pelfrey could be the answer for one of these teams. Pelfrey will not bring the Mets back an elite prospect, but he could net them one top-100 prospect in addition to another decent prospect or two.

If and when the rebuilding process starts, the Mets need to take a long, deep look at who can provide them with substantial value in the future. Jose Reyes and David Wright are players that can. Mike Pelfrey is a big question mark. As a result of this, he should be traded out of New York to bring back players who can help the team moving forward.