The NY Mets have to do something to save this 2010 season. The obvious thing to do is to trade for Cliff Lee (who is 7-3 with a 2.45 ERA) when he becomes available. The Seattle Mariners are no doubt waiting to see the plot thicken with interested teams stirring the pot, but soon they will hang the "For Sale" sign around Lee's neck, and that's when the Mets have to jump.
The problem is the cost of a trade like this. There is no question that the best chips in the Met organization cannot going to be included in this trade: Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada, and Angel Pagan are not going anywhere. The two minor league trump cards they do have, pitcher Jenrry Mejia (on the disabled list) and outfielder Fernando Martinez may not be enough to pry Lee from Seattle. So what should the Mets offer?
As much as I hate to see him go, young catcher Josh Thole looks like the real deal and would be an enticing part of the package. Include with him Mejia and Martinez, and perhaps throw in Luis Castillo (offering to pay most of his salary), Fernando Tatis, and a partridge in a pear tree for good measure. Seattle would be getting some pretty fine young talent and a couple of creaky veterans for Lee, but the pitcher will be a free agent anyway at the end of the season.
To be sure, this is a risky business for the Mets because they have been burned before when trading away young talent (think Nolan Ryan), but they have to take a chance because Lee would change the perspective for this team almost immediately. Not only would they have him in the starting rotation, but it would give the Mets the opportunity to return Hisanori Takahashi to the bullpen where he is really needed.
The Mets have no idea what is going to happen with lefty Oliver Perez and righty John Maine. Besides lingering physical concerns, it seems both have a problem keeping their heads in the game. For whatever reason, they both are looking at 2010 being a lost (and probably their last) season with the team.
That is why it is essential for the Mets to get the deal done. If they want to have any hopes for the postseason this year, the Mets have to get Cliff Lee and then work out an extended deal with him. This will not only save this season but guarantee some very good seasons to follow.