Thursday, June 17, 2010

Olney Discusses Starting Pitching Trade Options For Mets

In an article for, discovered via, Buster Olney talks about the Mets options as buyers looking for starting pitcher, in this year's buyer's market.

Olney says that the Mets are not thrilled with the idea of trading for Oswalt because of the high price tag, in both talent and money.  Olney also thinks that while the Mets like Lee, they may not match up as well with Seattle as other teams (he mentions the Indians) who have catching prospects, a need position for the Mariners.

Obviously, I would love the Mets acquiring either Lee or Oswalt.  I think that would change the division race a ton...

According to Olney that leaves the Mets bidding for the services of Jake Westbrook, Ben Sheets and Fausto Carmona, although Olney warns that the Mets may be weary of Carmona's past issues.

To me, Sheets should be off the board for two reasons.  One, the A's are in contention and just added Connor Jackson in an effort to compete, so until they fall out of it, I would assume Sheets is staying put.  My other issue with acquiring Sheets is that the Mets SHOULD have just signed him in the off-season.  Now, if they trade for him, not only are they paying the rest of his salary, but they are giving up prospects to do it.  That would be a tough pill for me to swallow considering they could have had Sheets in the off-season if they just paid up.

Carmona and Westbrook, however, are interesting options.  When they were at their best, they were great.  But Westbrook had Tommy John surgery and is still getting back to where he was, while Carmona is recovering from two terrible seasons (but pitching very well this season).

Westbrook is making $11 million this year and will be a free agent after the season.  Carmona, however, will make about $5 million this year, $6 million next year and has affordable club options through 2014.  This makes the decision all the more interesting because of the issue of Carmona's potential value against his club options.  At his best, Carmona is worth more than $6 million, but at his worst, he's another Ollie Perez.

With the way the Mets have been playing this trade deadline could be very interesting.  While I would want the team to go out and get another stud pitcher, I still think they can compete with the way the team is currently constructed (sans Cashstealo and Perez).  So, for me, it's going to come down to asking prices.  If Carmona, Westbrook or Sheets can be had reasonably cheap, then I would go for it.  But, if clubs are asking a lot and it won't be much of a jump for Lee or Oswalt, then I think it's a no-brainer...

Either way, I agree with Olney.  The Mets will be active, and should be able to get someone good, around the trade deadline this year...

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