New York Mets trade-rumors: the reliever market

What a difference a year makes.  Last year at this time the New York Mets were looking to dump contracts and add youth.  This year, however, that is not the case. With the club sitting just 1/2 game out of a Wild Card spot, the Mets front office feel they owe it to manager Terry Collins and the players to acquire a useful piece or two, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sportsline. As Heyman states:

“One Mets person said it was still too early to say what they might wind up doing. No one seems to know or say yet how much money they have to spend. But there is one encouraging sign. Said one Mets official, “The name Madoff hasn’t been heard around here in a long, long time.'”

It is no secret that the Mets will look to upgrade their bullpen; which has ranked among the worst in all of MLB this year. Heyman lists Oakland’s Grant Balfour, Jonathan Broxton of the Royals, Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon of the Astros as possible candidates.  Another name linked to the Mets is Brewers’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. In his report to the Post, Davidoff makes a compelling case for a possible reunion in Queens, saying:

“He behaved markedly better last year, upon returning from his 2010 arrest for attempted assault of his children’s grandfather at Citi, and he enjoyed a positive working relationship with Terry Collins. San Diego’s Huston Street, Houston’s Brett Myers and Oakland’s Grant Balfour all lack New York experience. …The risks are minimal. The Mets bullpen can’t be much worse than it has been so far, and as long as the Mets don’t surrender any quality prospects, they wouldn’t have to worry about long-term ramifications. K-Rod could view the reunion as an audition for teams that need a 2013 closer.”

David Lennon of Newsday confirmed Davidoff’s report, saying:

“A person familiar with the situation said Tuesday that Francisco Rodriguez is among the relievers currently being considered to add bullpen help. The New York Post first reported the Mets’ interest in K-Rod, and it appears his past transgressions in Flushing won’t get in the way of a possible reunion.”

“He knows all the guys already,” a person familiar with the situation told Lennon. “And he’s pitched in New York.”

K-Rod back in NY? Honestly. I’m not opposed to the idea.  I realize he had an issue that turned many fans against him, but the bottom line here is: he would help.  While his numbers this year are less that stellar, we all know what K-Rod can bring to the table. That is a vast improvement over most of the arms walking through the bullpen doors these days.

K-Rod is not the only reliever that Mets may be interested in.  According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, the Mets have already contacted the San Diego Padres about reliever Hudson Street:

Mets already actively working to get bullpen help. Called Padres to ask about Huston Street, per source.
Andy Martino

As most of us know already, Street had an altercation with Mets bench coach Bob Geren during their days together at Oakland. However, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sportsline, Street recently said that Geren is a “good man” and would be willing to approach Geren and talk it out, should the Mets acquire the veteran reliever:

“Street has read the reports that he’s one of many veteran relievers the Mets are considering to shore up their bullpen, and if the Mets do get Street, Street said he would approach Geren to talk it out. Or as he put it, “If I get to the Mets, that’ll be the first bug I go squash.”

Street said he suspected they would “be men about it” and “clear the air.”

Street might even be conciliatory.

“You’re going to have professional differences,” he said. “I sometimes think had I been a little older and little more mature, perhaps I would have reacted differently to the decisions that affected me,” Street said. “I think I’m as much to blame for a lot of it.”

Street is ready to shake Geren’s hand, and work it out. “If I were to get traded to the Mets, it would be up to me to handle it and be professional,” Street said. “I play hard for my teammates, and he’d be my teammate again.””

Street is an intriguing option, in my opinion. So far this year, he is a perfect 13/13 in save opportunities while striking out 32 batters in 24 innings of work.  Over his last ten appearances, Street has recorded 14 strikeouts while tossing 9 1/3 scoreless frames, lowering his ERA to 1.13 in the process:

What will it take to land one of these relievers?  According to Matthew Cerrone of

“Mets pitching prospects Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey are ‘total untouchables,’ as someone close to the team recently told me.

Photo taken by Michael Baron

However, I do think Sandy Alderson will consider moving Jenrry Mejia, Wilmer Flores, Jeurys Familia or even guys like Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda, but ONLY if it is a deal that helps the team this year and through 2014 and doesn’t add a ton of payroll.

For instance, I don’t believe he will (nor should he) trade top pitching prospects for Padres OF Carlos Quentin, because Quentin is a free agent at the end of this season. However, I could totally see the Mets expanding a deal, paying $10 million in cash and giving up just mid-level prospects to get Quentin and reliever Huston Street.”




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