The trade deadline is fast approaching.
The top target, Cliff Lee, was traded before even the All Star break.
Other names and scenarios are and will continue to be constantly thrown about between now and the end of the month.
Here are some of my thoughts about who and what the Mets could do to improve their lot before the trading deadline....if this west coast swing doesn't turn them into sellers before they even have a chance to become buyers.
In a perfect world: I would love for the Mets to get Roy Oswalt. I've admired him from afar for years, and if he's available, I'd love for the Mets to go out and get him. I just don't know that they have the prospects to entice the Astros to deal Oswalt to New York. But how good would Oswalt look in this rotation? (Not to mention with the lack of run support he gets in Houston he would fit right in with the Mets.)
More realistically: The Mets are constantly being brought up in talks about Ted Lilly. (I'm sure his 10-strikeout performance against the Philadelphia Phillies caught the Mets' attention last Friday afternoon.) It's taken him a long time to get back to the high standard he set for himself these past few years as he works his way back from injury - that start could be a sign he has turned that corner.
If Lilly is back to being healthy, he'd be a fine addition. It's kind of a roll of the dice until he shows that kind of consistency, though. More realistically, though, I think if the Mets are adding a pitcher, it'll be someone like Brett Myers, who is having a good enough season, but has had an up and down past (both on and off the field). I suspect the Mets will end up with the lower-end-type pitcher.
In a perfect world: I'm not sure that any of the bats out there right now are enticing enough for the Mets to trade the farm. Adam Dunn's power numbers are tempting, but would the Nationals really deal him within the division? The Mets certainly don't have enough room for another outfielder....they're set at first, shortstop (pending Jose Reyes' health), and third, and catcher. Another bat off the bench would be nice, but who's out there?
More realistically: I don't see the Mets doing anything here. The position they need production from the most would be second base, but Luis Castillo is back from his injury, and I don't know that the Mets would get a second baseman any different talent-wise from Castillo in a trade anyway.
AND WHO WOULD GO?
I hate to say it, because I've grown attached to a lot of these players, but the best trade bait the Mets have at the Major League level are catcher Josh Thole and outfielder Angel Pagan. Both have shown in extended play that they can be important pieces for a team (I'd love for that team to be the Mets...but if you're looking to win now you have to give something up), and their value couldn't be higher right now. There are a precious few minor league pieces the Mets could make available - a constant reminder that the wrong move could set the franchise back years.
Now, understand that the past couple of years I would have, and probably did, make a plea at this time of year for the Mets to obtain a player like Jason Bay to improve their offense. You just never know how someone will respond to the new environment, especially when that environment is New York.
Sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for.