Coming into the season, Mets fans knew the offense was the biggest problem. Looking at the lineup, you would not find a player that could cause a pitcher to quake in his cleats. As bad as that looked, the pitching was the complete opposite. Even with Zack Wheeler out for the season, the one thing fans knew was they had a competitive rotation.
After the Washington Nationals series, it was never more evident just how pitiful the offense is. Sure the team started out strong, but few believed the offense could continue throughout the season. Sunday’s loss was the second in a row the team lost 1-0. The last time this happened was 42 years ago. The loss also resulted in the Mets losing their third series in a row. It seemed like only yesterday the team was on an 11-game winning streak.
With both David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud still on the disabled list, you have to wonder if general manager Sandy Alderson is starting to feel some pressure to bring in an extra bat. The front office cannot afford to watch a team that started guns blazing to spiral back down to where many feel this team actually belongs.
Alderson would be wise in fixing two problems with one player: a shortstop who can play both offense and defense. Is there such a player out there? If there is, what would the cost be? The Mets being at the top and desperate for a playoff spot, you have to expect teams to ask for top level prospects. Perhaps the general manager is putting out some feelers to see who could be looking to trade a shortstop. The only thing the Mets have in abundance to give up is pitching. Personally, that is out of the question unless it is a low level prospect.
One route the Mets could go is the Chicago Cubs. With the possible promotion of Addison Russell as a shortstop, Starlin Castro could be expendable should they decide to trade instead of moving him to third base. The Mets would get better defensively and offensively. But with $43 million still owed to the 25 year old shortstop, are the Mets desperate enough to take that? Could the Mets possibly get the Cubs to take on some of that while giving up a top prospect and two lower level prospects? Perhaps a Noah Syndergaard or a Rafael Montero, Anthony Recker and a lower level prospect for the three time All-Star shortstop and cash.
Some would question his mental stability. There have been stories about him the clubhouse. Consider how young he was when he first came up. Last year, according to CSNChicago.com, Castro was becoming a leader in the clubhouse helping several rookies adapt to life in the majors. Although he does not see himself as a leader, he understands that it takes 25 men to win a game. The Mets would not be getting a diva. In February this year, he was quoted by USA Today saying,
“I’m not a real leader. I can help the young guys and I am still young, not a leader. We can be 25 guys leading the team and help each other.”
It is clear Castro is all about winning. At one point, it may have been about him. The result of being a young dynamite player. Nowadays, he is all about team wins. Even he realizes that one man does not win championships. He would be wise to accept being traded to the Mets considering the Billy Goat Curse still lives on out in Wrigley Field.
Manager Terry Collins made it clear he wants to give Wilmer Flores more time at shortstop. However, his job could be on the line should this team start to fall in the East. There is no room for error this year. With the season only one month old, the division is still up for grabs. Alderson has no time to wait. To delay is to set your team up for failure.
The team has shown their potential. But even potential needs a fighting chance. Alderson and Collins would be wise to consider their options to keep this team as the team to beat, which would be much to the dismay of Nationals’ right fielder, Bryce Harper, who claims the Nationals are indeed the team to beat in the East.