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Two Trades Down For The Mets, Is More Change Coming?

Mets added Uribe, Johnson, and Clippard.

Juan Uribe

Juan Uribe


Last Thursday night might have been the low point in the 2015 New York Mets season. On this night, against Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, the Mets put out a lineup that consisted of Eric Campbell, Anthony Recker and John Mayberry, Jr…you know, a Triple-A lineup. The result was an uneventful 3-0 loss to the Dodgers where Kershaw was just a couple of innings away from throwing a no-hitter and where the Mets were just dreadful. Needless to say it was a bad night.

The belly aching began on Friday with the media and fans crushing Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins. Alderson got roughed up for not even trying to make a move to improve the team this season after the off-season signings of Michael Cuddyer (who is now hurt) and Mayberry (who was hitting under .200 and was designated for assignment). Collins got roughed up for putting out the lineup that he put out on Thursday going up against a stud pitcher like Kershaw. In hindsight, Collins should only take half the blame from everyone because he only played who he had available to him thanks to Sandy Alderson.

Then on Friday night, the unthinkable happened…the New York Mets made a move and traded for infielder Juan Uribe and utility man Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves. In exchange for those players the Mets only gave up two low-level minor league pitchers and in turn brought in two offensive players who give the team legitimate bats off the bench. Gone is what may have been one of the worst benches in Mets history and in is something fans can get excited about. On Saturday, Johnson hit his first home run with the Mets as The Amazins’ slugged their way to a 15-2 win. Sunday saw Uribe hit a walk-off single in the 10th to win the game for the Mets and split the important series with Los Angeles.

After acquiring Uribe and Johnson, the question now becomes what’s next for the Mets with the trade deadline approaching on Friday. On Monday, the Mets made their second deal bringing in former Met killer Tyler Clippard from the Oakland A’s for pitching prospect Casey Meisner. At this point with Alderson in a trading mood, the Mets still need some outfield help and possibly a shortstop.

For months the Rockies and the Mets have been dancing around a possible trade for All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki but the major sticking point was twofold for the Mets. First, the Rockies wanted a ransom for Tulo including some of the Mets’ pitching prospects and possibly young outfielder Michael Conforto or first baseman Dominic Smith according to some reports. That’s just too much to pay for a player who injury prone 31-year old player. The second major hiccup is that the Rockies did not seem willing to eat most, if not any, of Tulowitzki’s remaining $110 million contract that runs through 2020.

With Tulowitzki now traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for former Met Jose Reyes, the rumor mill has began to heat up concerning outfielders Justin Upton and Will Venable of the San Diego Padres. With Michael Cuddyer out for an unspecified amount of time with a bum knee, outfield help is definitely at the top of the list as young Conforto is hitting well but not a long-term solution for the Mets right now. Picking up Upton would be a good move although he has a tendency to chase bad pitches out of the zone and has a tendency to disappear offensively for long stretches of time (see his Atlanta Brave tenure). Venable is a top of the lineup guy who adds a dimension of athleticism and speed, something the Mets have been missing this entire season up to this point.

The other name that continues to pop up in trade conversations is another Oakland player Ben Zobrist. The definition of a super utility man, Zobrist can play five to six positions and is a hitter who would fair well in Citi Field. Playing in the humongous Coliseum in Oakland, Zobrist is a gap hitter with some pop which plays amazing in Queens, especially in the newly reconfigured Citi. The problem (are you seeing a theme here) is that Zobrist is a hot property around Major League Baseball and for the team that makes a move for him, they may have to give up some of their future and the Mets are no exception to that possible conclusion.

After the way this past weekend ended, the Mets seem to have new life in the clubhouse after splitting the series with the Dodgers. The momentum is starting up for the team and with Alderson moving and shaking, the job is almost done. Another outfielder would help and a shortstop like Jean Segura from Milwaukee could put the team over the top. However making big trades has the risk of mortgaging your future and with the stable of young pitching and now young hitters in their system, the Mets have to be careful to not go all-in today and lose out on tomorrow. Be smart Sandy. Don’t give away the farm and a few acres for a fifth-floor walk-up and a studio apartment.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
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