We are about a week away from the 2012 MLB non-waiver trade deadline and some major dominoes have already started to fall across the league. Ichiro Suzuki has moved from the Seattle Mariners to the New York Yankees, while the Florida Marlins shipped Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers.
So far there has only been silence from the New York Mets and general manager Sandy Alderson. But make no mistake about it, this struggling team should be one of the more active clubs between now and the end of August, when teams can made waiver trades.
New York overachieved throughout most of the first half, giving the illusion of a potential playoff team, but have shown their true colors over the last three weeks. The Mets are nothing more than an average team that can compete on the fringe of the race when everything goes their way. It's time to realize this season will not end in a playoff birth and start building looking to the future.
In short, the Mets should sell (almost) anything that isn't nailed down.
That's not to say the likes of Ike Davis and Lucas Duda should be given away, but it doesn't hurt to see if you can score a top prospect for each. The disappointing lefties aren't likely to have much value and should feel comfortable they will be with the Mets going into the offseason, but after taking the temperature around the league for those two they can move onto other potential deals.
Scott Hairston can help almost any team as a potent right-handed bat off the bench and should at the very least fetch a low-level pitcher and the always popular "cash considerations". The same should go for lefty reliever Tim Byrdak, who has been up-and-down for the Mets, but sports a .140 average against lefties. Daniel Murphy has no power, but is hot right now and should be able to help an American League team as a pinch-hitter and DH.
There isn't much with clear value beyond those players, but Alderson needs to do all he can to ship out any player that is not in the plans for the 2013 New York Mets. This might seem like a rash decision by many Mets fans that still hold out hope things can turn around, but Alderson was pretty clear what his approach would be at the deadline.
"I think the results on the field will dictate that," the general manager said. "This will have an impact on us every five days, no question about that."
Anything that has the look of a fire sale will hurt attendance at Citi Field, but Alderson should be able to take back enough cash in deals to offset any losses at the gate.
It's never a fun thing to come to grips with as a fan, but the 2012 New York Mets are done. It's time to move on.