The trade deadline came and went, and it was uneventful for the Mets. There had been talk of moving a few pieces. Sandy Alderson even hinted at the possibility of acquiring an outfielder at the deadline a couple of weeks ago when he was on The Mike Francesa Show. However, as the trade deadline rolled around, talk of the Mets attempting to deal somebody died down. There are pluses and minuses to buying and selling, but the Mets did not buy nor sell — they stood pat.
The Mets could have dealt Marlon Byrd, who is having a terrific year and is arguably the best position player second to David Wright. A lot of teams would love to have a useful role player like Byrd, who could add some depth to a playoff contender, and also turn into a useful role player in a playoff situation. Teams usually are willing to pay for a player like Byrd with a prospect who has very raw talent and sometimes can develop into a decent big league player, but this usually does not happen. The move in general would make sense; trade an old player who has a hot bat for a lottery ticket. Lottery tickets sometimes turn into a couple million dollars, but most of the time they’re a waste of ten bucks.
The Mets could always use more prospects, however it seems as though Alderson was looking for more than Byrd was worth because many media outlets were reporting that the Mets would need to be overwhelmed to trade Byrd. Alderson probably didn’t want a player who will likely flame out in return for Byrd because that would be like giving Macbook Airs away for free. Sure there is the possibility that a prospect in return for Byrd can turn into Chris Davis, but the odds of that happening are very low. I think that Alderson realized he might as well keep Byrd, so that the Mets are still watchable this season, and then let some other team pick him up when he hits free agency in the off-season.
Another possibility for Alderson holding onto Byrd is Juan Lagares’s turnaround. Lagares is starting to prove that he’s part of the Mets’ plan next year, therefore the Mets don’t necessarily need to try to turn Byrd in for a raw outfield prospect when they already have Lagares. They can keep Byrd and have him help the Mets look relatively competitive and have Lagares prepare to take over a regular job next year.
Sometimes it seems like a no-brainer to trade away a veteran for a prospect even if he is a raw prospect, however in this case I think that Alderson made the right choice. He’s been hinting that the Mets will try to be contenders in 2014, and the potential return for Byrd would probably not be ready for another two or three years. Keeping Byrd now will help make the Mets relevant for 2014, and help spark the interest of the Mets fanbase.