COMMENTARY | If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times. This season, the New York Mets have displayed nothing short of abysmal play in the outfield.
It's no secret that the Mets lack outfield help. According to MLB.com, six of the top Mets prospects are pitchers. Only one player on that list (Brandon Nimmo) is an outfielder. Only two of the top 20 Mets prospects (Nimmo, Cesar Puello) project any outfield talent whatsoever. While New York Daily News reports that the Mets seem hesitant in trading breakout closer Bobby Parnell, the flame-throwing pitcher could deliver what they are looking for in the outfield.
If the Mets hope to be aggressive this trade deadline, seeking the value of their closer will be imperative.
Parnell, who has converted 12 of his 13 save opportunities since the beginning of May, would be an attractive option to competitive teams looking for relief help, such as the Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds.
One MLB executive claims that Parnell would be enough to swap for a top prospect with "one major tool" in a trade.
If that tool were an outfield prospect with top offensive production (e.g. Jackie Bradley, Jr. from the Red Sox or Nick Castellanos from the Tigers), the Mets would also be able to ship them Marlon Byrd, 35, in return and platoon Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Juan Lagares or Andrew Brown to replace him.
Byrd has had 11 HRs and 28 RBIs since the beginning of May, but his worth is virtually useless to the Mets' plan of building for the future given his old age and is more attractive to potential trade suitors hoping to land an impact role player for a run at the playoffs.
While Byrd and Parnell have both been productive this season, their value is less apparent than the minor-league talent of Noah Syndergaard and Raphael Montero (both of whom will join Brandon Nimmo in the Minor League Futures game) moving forward as an organization targeting 2013-14 successes.
"If a high-profile trade offer came up this year, would we talk about the top minor-league pitchers?" asks Mets VP John Ricco, according to The New York Post. "That's a good question."
To trade for those top-level players, however, will almost certainly require the Mets to ship a package of their top overall prospects (e.g. Travis D'Arnaud, Syndergaard or Montero) in return.
Upcoming outfield talent that may become available once the salaries owed to Jason Bay and Johan Santana come off the payroll this offseason include high-profile names such as Curtis Granderson, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence and Shin-Soo Choo.
Now that the Mets have secured and seem impressive play from recent acquisition Eric Young, Jr., the necessity to overpay for immediate outfield (e.g. Andre Ethier, Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham and Alex Rios) has become infinitely more improbable.
"It's one thing to look for somebody to help us this year," said Ricco. "It can also be a younger player who we control where we give up a younger player. If we feel like it's a piece, there's no reason you have to wait to do that."
Bryan Kalbrosky is still coping with the fact that his Queens-born father raised him to be a follower of the New York Mets. His work has previously been featured on BleacherReport.com, Tumblr Sports and various other media outlets. He would like to thank The Internet. Click here to follow @BryanKalbrosky on Twitter.
- Sports & Recreation
- New York Mets
- Brandon Nimmo
- Marlon Byrd