According to ESPN Insider, Buster Olney, the New York Mets “seem to match up” with the Oakland Athletics in a possible trade for reliever Grant Balfour:
As Olney points out, Balfour has allowed just one run over his last 16 outings, spanning 18 innings pitched. Balfour has lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 2.61 over that span while recording 14 strike outs and seven hits:
Meanwhile, CBS Sportsline’s Jon Heyman told Joe Beningo of WFAN’s Beningo and Roberts mid-day show, that he believes the Mets will trade for a reliever. Listing multiply teams as a possible partner, including Oakland:
“Colorado’s got guys — Betancourt is pretty good. Oakland has a few guys — they have Fuentes as well. There are relievers. Houston has Lyon as well as Myers. …There are many guys who would make an improvement for the Mets’ bullpen at this point.”
Look. It’s obvious the Mets need bullpen help. Their pen is brutal; ranking dead last in MLB in ERA.
It is also obvious they need to go outside the organization to find that help. I will say this: I’m pretty confident that general manager Sandy Alderson will bring in a reliever at the deadline. However, as Ken Davidoff stated in his report to the New York Post, the Mets willingness to spend money could make the difference in adding some bullpen relief:
As per the new CBA, players traded in the middle of their walk season can’t bring back compensatory draft picks, as was the case for, say, Milwaukee and CC Sabathia in 2008 or Boston and Billy Wagner in 2009. That means that teams probably won’t be willing to give away as much young talent for one of these relievers, knowing that the relievers won’t bring back any young talent on the other end of the transaction.
So the clubs out of the race might have to settle for some financial relief. The team willing to take on the most salary might win the player. Myers is making $11 million this season and has a $3 million buyout on his $10 million vesting option, which he’s on track to hit (reportedly with 45 games finished). Balfour earns $4 million this year, with a $350,000 buyout on a $4.5 million team option for next year. Street has a $7.5 million salary and a $9 million mutual option for 2013 with a $500,000 buyout.
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