Andy Martino of the Daily News surveyed Mets players and concluded they would prefer Sandy Alderson acquire an every-day, right-handed bat for the lineup instead of bullpen help.
“We can’t hit lefties,” a prominent player told Martino, who says the player was voicing a desire felt elsewhere in the clubhouse.
Matthew Cerrone: I understand, but they need bullpen help more. Sorry, guys… Also, the reliever is going to be easier to acquire because the arm will only cost cash and not a top prospect. For instance, the Mets could probably part with a mid-level prospect and get Francisco Rodriguez from the Brewers, assuming the Mets will pay all of his remaining $4 million salary. The same can essentially be said for Huston Street. However, those teams are going to wait to make a move until a larger, more intense market develops in July, so they can increase their chances of getting a better prospect in return.
As for the bat, there are a lot of moving parts to it: It only makes sense if the Mets are acquiring a player like Padres OF Carlos Quentin or A’s OF Jonny Gomes, otherwise what’s the point? They already have a million part-time outfielders, so why add another? Also, is the upgrade worth trading a top pitching prospect?
For what it’s worth, there has been some buzz around baseball that both BJ Upton and Peter Bourjos could be available. Upton would likely cost young, big-league, under-team-control player, while Bourjos would cost a young, major-league ready starting pitcher.
Brian Erni: Well, it’s definitely not worth giving up a top tier prospect, but there is value to adding a right handed bat. I’d agree that the bullpen is a glaring need, but the Mets can’t keep running out a lineup that is going to have a hard time being competitive against lefties. Fans were frustrated last Sunday with the lineup against Clayton Kershaw, and, to a degree, they’re justified. As the season goes on, the Mets are going to be lined up against tough left handers. Teams may even shuffle their rotations to throw lefties against them if the Mets are going to stay in the race all year. Outside of David Wright and Scott Hairston, that’s a fairly daunting prospect for this lineup. The team is in a spot that if they start Hairston, they have very limited options to turn to off the bench against a situational lefty. It might seem like another part-time, right handed bat won’t help, but imagine if the Mets could send up a legitimate power threat in the late innings against other teams’ LOOGYs? It would certainly add a much-needed dimension.