MLB trade deadline:

Five Questions the New York Mets Must Answer After the All-Star Break

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The 2013 All-Star Game festivities are set to start in New York City. With three games left against the Pittsburgh Pirates before the break, the New York Mets are currently 40-48 on the season. Once the last out is made in this year's All-Star Game, the Mets will have five questions they'll need to answer in the second half.

Is Ike Davis the first baseman of the future?

Ike Davis was recently recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas, ending his time in the minor leagues to re-tool his swing and plate approach. After hitting .293/.424/.667 in 75 at-bats for the Las Vegas 51s, Davis has played in five games (four starts) since returning.

The first baseman is hitting .294/.455/.294 in 17 at-bats, including five walks and four strikeouts. His performance the rest of the season will determine whether or not the front office has faith in keeping Davis at first base for the immediate and long-term future.

How many outfielders will they have to acquire this winter?

The outfield situation in Flushing hasn't been a pretty one for most of the year. The acquisition of Eric Young, Jr. has helped keep some lineup consistency; Terry Collins has been using him, Juan Lagares, and Marlon Byrd with regularity of late, which has been working.

It's been widely considered that Sandy Alderson needs to acquire three outfielders for next year's big league roster. They'll need to use the second half to find out how many legitimate internal options they have before exploring the trade and free agent markets. Will Young continue to produce? Will they give prospect Cesar Puello a shot in 2014? This remains to be seen.

What position will Wilmer Flores play in the major leagues?

Wilmer Flores' bat is ready to get promoted to the big leagues. Through 363 Triple-A at-bats, the 21-year-old is hitting .325/.361/.537 with 12 home runs and a league-leading 74 RBIs. He's currently playing second base, but many talent evaluators (especially at Baseball America) say he's a bat without a position.

Will he continue to play second base, or is he destined to end up at first? That will depend on the futures of Davis and Daniel Murphy, which leads me to my next question.

Who is Sandy Alderson willing to trade away?

Regardless of internal options, Alderson sounds determined to make a trade this winter for an impact bat to put in the outfield. Whether it's Carlos Gonzalez, Giancarlo Stanton, or someone else, they'll have to give up an attractive package of players.

This will likely be a combination of major league talent, as well as major league-ready talent from the minors. Alderson will need to figure out whether Murphy or Davis are worth keeping or not, and which minor league players will be included in a potential deal. Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard headline that group.

Will Terry Collins remain as manager in 2014?

Collins was hoping he'd get a contract extension at the end of the 2012 season, but a 28-48 finish prevented that from happening. He's now in the last guaranteed year of his deal, and his future is still uncertain. As New York stumbled in May and June of this season, it looked like he would be packing his bags.

However, Collins has seen his squad go 16-9 in their last 25 games. With Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler both in the big league rotation, the Mets could start pushing for a .500 record by the end of the season. If they do, the front office and ownership must decide whether Terry should remain skipper, or take another direction.

Matt Musico's Mets opinion has been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, MetsBlog, Amazin' Avenue, Mets Merized Online, and Rising Apple. He currently serves as Executive Editor of MetsMinors.net.

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