Coutinho: Don’t Be Shocked If Mets Aren’t Sellers At Trading Deadline

By Rich Coutinho
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The first 41 games of the season have been a real roller coaster ride for Sandy Alderson. The new man in charge has been forced to deal with a plethora of injury issues and was blindsided by the latest setback — a David Wright stress fracture.

But through it all, it has become obvious that the Mets are playing well as we end the first quarter of the season. And in a watered down NL wild card race, that could mean he will have an interesting decision come July 31st.

The players who Alderson may have thought of moving are arguably the team’s three best players right now — Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and K-Rod.

The Reyes case is an interesting one. As each day passes, you get the sense Alderson appreciates more and more the value of the effervescent Mets catalyst. Clearly, if you read between the lines, you can see he has begun to get the Reyes “it factor” by the adjectives he uses to describe him — “exciting,” “potent,” and “a game changer.”  Back in spring training, he used phrases like “we’ll just wait and see.” It seems watching him every day has made Alderson more keenly aware of Reyes’ inherent value to the club.

As each day passes, I really believe Reyes will be here in 2012 knowing the fly in the ointment could be team finances. But even that could improve shortly if a minority owner is brought in. And judging by the actions of all of the players involved, including Commissioner Selig, you get the feeling that will occur before the All-Star break.

So that gets us back to the original question: Will the Mets be sellers at the deadline?

I say no for a number of reasons, including the fact that the NL is devoid of dominant teams aside from the Phillies and Rockies. There is a clear class distinction. Just about every other NL team sits in that second plateau with very little difference between them. 40 games is not a huge sample size but it also can not be ignored as these teams are all the same–incomplete packages with serious deficiencies in one aspect.

The Mets clearly have little starting pitching but possess a very good lineup, coupled with a surprisingly efficient bullpen. They remind me a lot of both the 1997 and 2005 Mets. Those were not playoff teams but stayed in the race for the wild card into the season’s final month — and I honestly think this group could do that.

Those teams, with a break here or there, could have been better — and both landed north of the 85-win benchmark. Coming out of spring training, I thought the Mets were an 85-win team and I still think that they are. The question is are the Mets the team that went 5-13 or are they the team that has gone 14-9 since. The truth likely lies somewhere in between, but my sense is 5-13 was more of an aberration.

What that means is not only will the Mets not be sellers — they might be buyers. Not for high-ticket items, but I could see them adding a small piece for the back end of their rotation. I know the public perception is that will never happen, but it could if the Mets stay in the Wild Card race as we enter July.

And there is always the possibility that an  addition to the roster could be a healthy Johan Santana–which I must admit is remote. Improbable but not as impossible as some of the people who cover this team on a daily basis may have led you to believe.

Will the Mets be buyers or sellers? Comment away below…


One Comment

  1. Uncle Vito says:

    I thought the Wilpons were going to sell the Mets? Having to run the baseball business on just the baseball business alone is tough without the addition of all that Madoff fraud money. And being the inept managers that they are, they probably aren’t going to be able to do it.

  2. Dano says:

    Totally agree with Coutinho overall. Doubt Reyes will be traded. Wright definitely won’t be. The big dilemma for Alderson is what happens with Beltran who won’t bring back a draft pick if the Mets keep him the entire year. If the Mets are on the periphery of the race at the trade deadline, but still in it, and a team right in the thick of things needs offense and offers Alderson a top prospect for 2 months of Beltran, what does he do? That’s the hard question. D

  3. WHAT!!!!! says:

    Isn’t this the same guy who wrote that Bay was going to make the line-up better, in 21 games he has only 2 hr & 6 r.b.i, hitting .218 and the Mets find themselves in last place where they were before he joined the team off the DL.

    The thing about keeping Reyes & Beltran & not trading them is simple; if both leave, the Mets get a top A draft pick from the team that signs them.

    No team will trade their top players knowing Reyes will seek free agency, which he already has said he’s going to do. Smart move on his part, test the market.

    A lot of teams will be looking for a shortstop; the Phillies will be one of those teams. Reyes could make a bundle & the Mets have already said they WILL BE REDUCING THE PAYROLL making them sellers not buyers.

    This guy Coutinho is a dreamer, stop drinking his juice.

    1. Dano says:

      Huh? Just because they said they want to reduce the payroll doesn’t make them “sellers.” That makes no sense. It’s like a non-sequitur.

      They could merely reduce the payroll from 140 million to 120 million. There’s plenty of money in such a payroll to pay Reyes.

      1. Good Luck With That!! says:

        Reyes wants to get paid, he has stated that, reducing the payroll means reducing the payroll & not by just 20 mil. You’re hoping & praying that this isn’t the case, then you did not paid attention to the A’s teams Alderson had in Oakland.

        After winning the WS in 1989 he started letting their best players go or traded them Alderson is the one that started this sabermetric system into the game, which means bringing in undervalued players, pretty much what the Mets have now, but picture it without Reyes, Wright & Beltran, all high payroll players for lower payroll players.

        The Mets will be the A’s of the NL East without winning a title because they do not have superstars & you need superstars in order to win, not undervalued players you hope to win with.

      2. Dano says:

        No, reducing the payroll means simply reducing the payroll, and you can’t presume to know by how much Alderson plans to cut. It could be just $20 million or so, like I said.

        Also, this isn’t Oakland, and this isn’t 1989. Different city. Different economics in the game. Different teams. Different players. Anyone who presumes to know what Alderson will do with the Mets based on the book Moneyball is a fool. I read Moneyball long ago, so, yes, I know Alderson was an early pioneer of sabermetrics. What he’ll probably do is blend his background in sabermetrics with present day realities and economics based on the unique environment of baseball in NY, and no one knows how that is going to net out. Not you or I or any misguided media snark like Sherman.

        The Mets will not be the A’s of the NL East. That is such an ignorant statement.

      3. Good Luck With That...Really says:

        OK Dano, you’re upset because you refuse to see the truth or see it but just too ignorant to accept it. Reducing the payroll does not mean it will be slash all in one next year, but it will be done Dano, said goodbye to Reyes, Beltran, K-Rod, Wright and when & if healthy, Santana.

        Say hello to players like Young, oh yeah, he came cheap & is now out for the year. Great signing there, I’m sure you were happy with him. Young is prime example of the players the Mets will have on the roster & when they’re eligible for arbitration say good-bye to Davis & Pelfrey as well.

        Mets judgment day started when they hired Alderson & let’s not forget the Madoff mess. Mets do not have money Dano, they owe more money then what the team is worth. You have more money in your pocket then they do.

        It could be worst then Oakland, Citi Field already looks like Cleveland with just under 20 thousand fans a game & that’s on a good sunny weekend day.

        The clock is ticking on Reyes, enjoy him while you can & that’s if attend games & not one of those so calls loyal fan who watches them only on TV, no wonder the Mets are broke.

      4. Dano says:

        To the contrary, sounds like you’re upset because someone is calling you out on the BS and pure speculation you’re posting. The “truth” has yet to happen, and not even Alderson knows the exact composition of the team a year from now. But this idea that it will be filled with Chris Youngs and will be missing Wright is totally laughable.

        It’s also ludicrous that you continue to pretend to know how Alderson will act. You don’t. You will be wrong on most of what you are predicting.

        Moreover, the Mets do have the money to pay stars like Wright and Reyes. You have no clue what you’re talking about. FYI, the Yankees owe more than they are worth. But since you’re probably a Yankee fan, you can’t even see the decay and problems with your own team.

        As another example of just how clueless you are, you are way off on the Mets attendance, by at least 8,000. I don’t know why I’m wasting time on someone who can’t tell reality from fantasy and simply makes things up. You should really do your homework before making a fool of yourself here. Laziness is not excuse for your poor grasp of the facts.

      5. Good Luck With That!! says:

        Dano take it easy there, you’re going nuts here. You forgot your medication today. You better make arrangement for a reservation for a suite at the Hotel Silly come late July or October once Reyes is not a Met anymore, it will happen, & you’re going to go freaking crazy. Bellevue will be packed with Mets fans by then.

        Creedmoor already is full & has been since 2000 World Series when the Yankees beat the Mets. They say Mets fans walk around with rosaries in the middle of the night talking to themselves & chanting ‘Let’s Go Mets” & “Ya Got To Believe”

        Seek help brother; I wouldn’t want to hear you jumped because you just may.

      6. Dano says:

        How sad. You’re clearly delusional and make things up, yet when called out on it, the only response is to call others crazy. Clearly it’s you who is off kilter. Maybe it’s that recent losing streak your team went on? The meltdown and totally unprofessional behavior of Posada? The total decline of Jeter? Or just the mediocre record despite the 200+ million payroll? Whatever it is, it’s clear you’re a very bitter, sad and sick man.

      7. Good Luck With That!! says:

        this ladies & gentlemen is what happens when your team hasn’t won in 25 yrs & made two of sport biggest historical chokes in ’07 & ’08, you become an imbecile, a closed minded idiot moron.

        Here’s a guy who brings the Yankees into the equation thinking it would change the fact that his NY Mets suck. Dano, you asked a question about the Yankees payroll of $200 mil, yet stupidly wish to ignore the Mets high payroll.

        Dano, the Yankees have kept their superstar players & have won titles. Tell us how many titles the Mets have won the last few years with their NL leading payroll of $150 mil. I’m really impress of the 8,000 Mets fans you added, though you added about 7 thousand more when the facts show. The Yankees draw that amount plus 15 thousand more on a Wednesday day game against the Royals.

        Dano, stick to something you know about, which is not much. You can’t compete with the Yankees because you will lose everytime.

        By the way, how’s last place going with your $140 mil payroll Mets team? LOL, LOL

      8. Dano says:

        Talk about chokes, your wretched aging decrepit team had the biggest choke in all of baseball history. Worse than anything the Mets have ever done. You’re so blind and dumb you can’t even see your own team’s disgusting warts.

        And only a brainless fool would try to put the Mets payroll of 140 million on the same level as the Yankees’ monstrous 210 million. Since you obviously can’t count, that’s a huge difference of 70 million, idiot, more than some team’s entire payrolls.

        Sure the Yankees have won more titles than the Mets, but open your eyes for once, you little cretin. They did it by outspending every other team in the game and by heavily juicing and cheating. It’s no surprise that since steroids testing started, they only won once, despite spending almost 2-1/2 billion dollars on payroll. It’s a joke. That’s the only way your team cab win as your doofus GM Cashman is too stupid to succeed otherwise.

        And again, you were totally WRONG about the Mets attendance. You were about 8,000/per game off. Just stop making up facts as you go along. You look like a total dimwit.

        And no, the Yankees don’t draw 15,000 more than the Mets. It’s all in your empty delusional head. Yankee attendance has also dropped this year, which is pitiful for a team coming off a winning season.

        As for the Mets record, I hate to tell you but your hideous $200+ million team isn’t much better ..,,. Just 3 games better … LOL, LOL.

        Hey, why don’t you stick to things you know a little something about? Which would mean, evidently, NOTHING. LMAO!

      9. Good Luck With That!! says:

        Dana, stop you’re crying, you are beginning to sound like a girl. You haven’t made one valuable point. You’re a suffering Mets fan that can’t stand the fact that the Mets are second rated & their future looks very gloomy.

        The best way to deal with this is to accept the facts. It’s like an alcoholic; the first thing is to admit there’s a problem. Dana, the Mets have a problem.

        You also have a symptom that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real & unreal, to think logically. You have the basic case of schizophrenia. As I mentioned before, seek medical help.

        Reyes will be gone, you will go postal come July, not a good thing. The payroll is going to be reduced by a lot & the Mets do really suck. That’s reality, just trying to help you out here

        Also, you need to leave your parents basement, it’s time, you’re a grown ass man, leave the nest. Not a good thing being a mama boy. Find yourself a boyfriend & move on with your life. Even Mets fans need to be happy once in a while.

        Call this number for help 1-800-638-7825 – M-e-t-s-S-u-c-k

      10. Dano says:

        Awww, poor delusional Yankee fan. All that money for so little gain. Your team sucks too. Can’t win unless it outspends everyone else or cheats with steroids. Yankees were the dirtiest team in the steroids era and all its recent titles are just as dirty. Now they’re only 3 games better than the Mets despite your GM misspending to the tune of 200+ million once again. Hope you enjoy watching Jeter and Posada age so ungracefully they’re mocked throughout baseball now. They’re pathetic jokes who didn’t know when to quit. Just like you!

        All you can do is make things up and make dorky kindergarten level remarks. Parents basement? LOL. Really? How long did it take you to come up with that lame one? For someone who lives in a fantasy world, it’s stunning how boringly tired and uncreative all your comebacks are. But then you are a Yankees fan. Figures.

        You’re as empty and fraudulent as A-Fraud and your team’s juiced up titles. Pretty said excuse for a person. You’re beyond help.

      11. Good Luck With That!! says:

        Dana, you’re a complete idiot. The Mets had 16 players named on the Mitchell report for using steriods. Reyes & Beltran used the same Canadian doctor, who was arrested for using steroids & HGH on athletic.

        You remember Reyes getting his blood spun by this doctor. Let’s not forgot Piazza steroid use. You’re stupid man, you want to think only Yankees players used steroids & then you make it seems like they all did. Mets have a history of having players & minor league players using steroids & getting suspended.

        Your current catcher Paulino was recently suspended 50 games for steroid use. Get you head out of your A$$ & get back to the real world Dana.

        What kills you more Dana, having your loser Mets stink up the joint the last 25 yrs or seeing the Yankees winning championships after championships? 2000 WS must’ve kill you. LMAO, LOL, LOL

        You’re a sad little man, misery loves company and it show you’re very miserable. Poor Little Loser Dana, has no life other than his loser Mets.

      12. Dano says:

        And you, Luckless, are a total inane brainless f*rthead.

        I’m going to call you Luckless because it’s obvious you’ve had a hard deprived life, and are suffering the consequences of that deprivation daily by wrapping yourself in a self-medicating delusional world.

        The truth is Mr. Luckless, your Yankees are an ugly, declining, creaky tarnished ship going down. It’s aging by the second. A-Fraud (aka A-Roid) is the most overpaid lackluster player in the entire game right how, and he’s got a bum hip. At least he has a medical excuse. Jeter has none. He’s just plain spent and horrific and should be shot to put him out of his misery — like an aging injured animal. Could never field, and now he can’t hit, LOL. Then there’s that whiny p*ssy, Posada, another overpaid over-the-hill useless player with an over-inflated sense of worth. That’s what the Yankees are now. Really ugly.

        As for you team’s juiced up record, it is unprecedented. No other team in the steroids era had so many high profile key players nabbed for steroids and HGH as the Yankees. What a disgrace to the game! And your trying to put the Mets in the same category is just outright comical and another sure sign of your chronic fatal delusion. Apart from Hundley, there are NO key Mets from that era for which there is any evidence they did steroids or HGH. And key players or not, your cheating team has had twice the number of players involved with PEDs as the Mets.

        As for Piazza, there is no evidence there. NONE. Zilch! But if you want to just throw baseless charges around, two can play that game. So … in addition to Clemens, Pettitte, Posada, Sheffield, Giambi, Neagle, A-Roid, and others, I know that Bernie Williams, Posada and Rivera and Jeter were all juiced up cheats as well! The Mets ain’t got nuthin’ on the Yankees when it comes to cheaters.

        It’s so doubly ignorant of you to try to throw Reyes into the mix. A-Roid is guilty not because he went to the Canadian doctor, but because he flunked drug tests and admitted to being a juicing cheater, you idiot!

        I feel bad for Yankee fans like you. You have to live with the knowledge that your team has the cheapest titles in the game and can only win by cheating or grossly outspending everyone else. Fans of all other teams mock the Yankees and their blind fans like you. LMAO. LOL!

        You are truly a sad clueless loser, Luckless. You were born that way and there is no hope for you. No meds. No doctors. No attempt at reasoning … nothing can help you. Put a paper bag over your head and keep it there permanently. Maybe then you won’t be so embarrassed and pained rooting for such a rotten tarnished team with such a huge legacy of PEDs and cheap titles.

  4. Jesse says:

    It is so ridiculous that money is even remotely close to an issue for the Mets. We play in the LARGEST sports market in the WORLD. Whether the Wilpons are good owners or not, it is irresponsible of them not to sell the entire team if they’re have money problems in NEW YORK CITY. I feel bad about the Madoff situation, but thats life. The fact that Jose Reyes might not be back because we cant afford him is absurd. My opinion is to trade Wright because he is valuable and Beltran because of his age. Trading Reyes would be the worst possible thing this team could do. Rebuild around Reyes, Davis, and Bay(who i still have a glimpse of faith in). I like David Wright, but he sucks in the clutch. Period. Also are we forgetting that Johan is coming back in July? While hes not as good as he was in Minnesota, he’s still an ace and will help the team tremendously. Sandy Alderson is a great GM, but this isn’t Oakland or San Diego. New York City teams do not have fire sales and New York City teams do not skimp out on contracts. As much as i hate the Yankees for buying championships at least they can afford to resign their players(even though Jeter and Posada’s contracts are both ridiculous). I’m sorry Wilpons. Either pay up, or if you can’t afford it, sell the whole team not just a minority share. And hey, maybe they can sell the team, make some money back, then buy their real favorite team that is currently looking for an owner anyway.

    Alright, I’m done ranting, but the mets seriously need to get a grip.

    1. Dano says:

      Maybe you shouldn’t put too much stock into the scare tactics used by the NY media such as Joel Sherman, who continually yell “Fire Fire sale.”

      The Mets can afford both Wright and Reyes. There’s no need to trade either. But if you’d prefer to worry and whine, go for it.

    2. WhyMetsFansAreIdiots says:

      Hey Jessie so what do you call when the Mets signed free agents like Beltran, Martinez, Glavine, K-Rod, Wagner, Santana, Alou, Matsui Trachsel, Floyd, Bay and in the pass Bonilla, Cedeno, Apier, Murray, Coleman, Henderson?.

      You think they all came up from the Mets farm system?

      One year the Mets were called the worst team money can buy. You’re an idiot to think only the Yankees sign players & to say they buy championships is even more stupid.

      The problem with Mets fans is that it’s OK for the Mets to sign players, but if the Yankees do it becomes a problem. Don’t mix the Mets failures by bringing up the Yankees. You’ll never win.

      Mets payroll is at $140 mil this year & last year was $150 mil. Mets payroll has been the highest in the NL for many years, yet they can’t win with a high payroll, why is that Jessie? It’s not a trick question.

      1. Jesse says:

        First of all, the fact that you misspelled my name when it was right in front of you makes you the idiot here. Second of all, I have no problem with the Yankees or any other teams signing free agents. It’s the obscene amount of money they pay so that no other team can afford them that I have a problem with. You obviously missed the entire point of my comment since you were too busy being an ignorant Yankee fan. I’m aware that we have one of the highest payrolls in the league, and my problem is that we suddenly can’t afford to keep it that high. By the way, the Yankees payroll is consistently 30-50 million dollars higher than the second highest payroll every year. Thats disgusting. To say that you don;t buy championships is just a blatant lie.It’s great to see your team falling apart these past couple weeks and I hope it continues. The all the fake frontrunner Yankee fans will run to the next dominant force in the MLB. Back to the ways of the 80’s for you guys. And thank you, truly, for proving how in fact Yankee fans are the idiots.

      2. WhyMetsFansAreIdiots says:

        Jessie, Jessie, Jessie, you did not answer the question asked, why haven’t the Mets won with their high payroll? They have try buying a championship many times & have failed.

        Be man enough to answer the questions given & not go ranting like a scorn crazy woman about the Yankees. You’re a Mets fan, answer the question about your little Mets & be done with it.

  5. Terry Agoris says:

    Aldersons best move is to trade Wright, keep Reyes and offer arbitration for Reyes. Wright is worth alot more that Reyes as far as trade bait, and if you trade off Reyes im pretty sure Citi Field will be a ghost town and nobody will show up to watch. Reyes and a hot beltran are the reasons why they are even getting up to 25k attendance, get rid of those 2 will be killer financially.

  6. Dominick Mezzapesa says:

    So you’re saying the Mets won’t trade Beltran? You’re kidding right? So the Mets will get nothing for him when he leaves. Since the Mets can not offer him arbitration they won’t even get a draft pick.

    The Mets no matter how great they play will never even be close to a playoff position.

    This was a silly article that’s based on fantasy rather than reality.

    1. Dano says:

      Mets are currently just 5.5 games out of the WC, and it’s just May. That’s close.

      Coutinho’s article was totally realistic.

  7. johnnylamjones says:

    I hope you are correct. I would hate to lose Reyes. The Mets would not be in this mess if Wilpon did not think he was Gordan Gekko.

  8. Patrick says:

    Good stuff as always Rich, balanced filled with insight instead of just mamby pamby rhetorical nonsense.

    Bottom line, it is up to the players, if they put themselves in the position I do not see Alderson pulling the plug, this fanbase has been too demoralized the last four years. If they are legitimately winning and healthy no way they can lift a middle finger to this fanbase.

  9. Glenn DeMilt says:

    If we could just get Jason Bay to perform like the player we thought he was…..

  10. dabooch says:

    What the Mets have here is the rummage of remnants from the Golden Minayi Era 2004-2009 AD. Take a good look at Reyes, Alderson a flea market scavenger, will never pay full retail…in the hundred plus muiti-million dollar isle. Beltran and K Rod more acquisitions from the Mad Minaya Era are relics that will and can’t be replaced. Alderson’s team of the future will look more like a KC or San Diego squad, where it is hard to name a star.

  11. Glenn says:

    Reyes is cute as hell, just please have him shave those dreads and beard. On a scale of 1 – 10 he is a 11. Just please shave.

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