NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Sandy Alderson answers questions during a press conference after being introduced as the general manager for the New York Mets on October 29 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson told everyone before the season began his team will be better than you think. He's been right so far, to the point Alderson even talked about being buyers at the trade deadline. But now, five games out of the second Wild Card spot and having lost 9 of their past 10 games, Alderson finds himself in a predicament no GM wants to be in. Certainly not one with aspirations of making the playoffs. No, I'm not talking about being five out in late July. There's still time to make that ground up.
I'm referring to the team's starting rotation. With not 1, not 2, but 3 of their starters on the disabled list, the Mets need to find healthy arms to slot into their rotation now. Running spot-up starters twice around the rotation isn't going to work, not even in the short-term, when you're sporting the worst bullpen in the majors. The Mets need to find innings eaters through the trade market, so let's take a look at some pitchers they could possibly acquire for limited assets.
Scott Feldman: The Texas Rangers aren't sellers, but Feldman is far from an intgral part of their team and could be had for cheap. Best case scenario here for the Mets would be getting a back-end starter. If things go horribly, they can move him into the bullpen, anotrouher area of need for the team. There's a $9.25M club option for next year on the 29-year-old, which will undoubtedly be declined, with a $600K buyout.
Paul Maholm: The Chicago Cubs are looking to move starting pitchers Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster for premium prospects, but the asking price won't be nearly as high for Paul Maholm. He isn't a great pitcher, of course, but the 30-year-old southpaw can do one thing: eat innings. Since becoming a full-time starter in2006, Maholm has thrown at least 176 innings in all but one season. He'd also be a cheap option (financially) for the remainder of this season and next ($6.5M club option, $500K buyout).
Jason Marquis: He began the season with the Minnesota Twins looking like a lost cause, with an 8.47 ERA in 7 starts walking (3.71 BB/9) more batters than striking out (3.18 K/9), but Marquis has found new life with the San Diego Padres. In 9 starts, he's posted a 3.79 ERA with a 7.9 K/9 and 2.63 BB/9.