Last night was New York’s sixth loss in a row, and the clamor to do something, and now, is growing. “So, call it a tailspin, the other shoe dropping, the downfall, or the collapse, if you wish, but this losing streak is serious trouble for the Metropolitans,” Dirty Mets Blog said, while noting that the Amazins are now eight games out of first.
What, exactly, the Mets should do is clear: they need help in the bullpen — which cost them the two games in D.C. Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Register writes that the Mets’ front office has a plan, though it may take time to put in place. The first part of the plan, he writes, is to get closer Frank Francisco back from the disabled list, the second part of the plan includes trading for bullpen help.
“Their targets are well-known by now,” McCullough writes. “The team has scouted Milwaukee’s Francisco Rodriguez, San Diego’s Huston Street, Kansas City’s Jonathan Broxton and Houston’s Brett Myers.” Anyone of those four would be a terrific addition to the Madoffs, but it’s not clear that they’re the answer for this year — or enough to put the Mets back into contention.
The uncomfortable truth here is that the Mets weren’t supposed to be in this race to begin with: it could be that they are simply, now — and finally — playing at their level. Indeed, that might be the conclusion of New York G.M. Sandy Alderson, one of the smartest men in the game — a guy who knows the difference between Rolaids and relievers.
Alderson has made it clear that he will not sacrifice the future for help now, refusing to rush ace-to-be Matt Harvey or potent farm hand arm Zack Wheeler to the majors (which is why Batista, in large measure, remains a Met) or trade the future for a starter and another bat. Which doesn’t mean that Alderson won’t trade for bullpen help — he will.
Alderson has made that clear: “We need to add somebody who can actually have an impact,” he said yesterday. “In terms of his pitching on the field, and perhaps his affect on the clubhouse.” That sounds good, but it’s easy to read between the lines. Alderson wants to improve the team, but without giving up anything of value. Translation? The Mets will get a reliever, and their fans will get the Rolaids.