New York Mets: What's the plan here?

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Still trying to come to terms with the odd, dissonant maneuvers being made around the Big Apple.

The Metropolitans decided to move on from Ike Davis yesterday, trading him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for relief pitcher Zack Thornton and a PTBNL, presumably someone from the Pirates' 2013 draft class. Your guess is as good as mine as to who it would be, but I'd be surprised if it ended up being anyone from the first five rounds.

Zack Thornton is a soon-to-be 26 year-old reliever who has posted some fairly impressive strikeout rates the last two seasons in AA and AAA. He is likely to be a valuable asset to the Mets over the next few years, in the limited sense that relief pitchers can be. If he turns into the next John Franco, then the Mets may have found something. But whatever return they get as the player-to-be-named-later is not likely to be much more than a dart throw and a prayer.

Which brings me around to the big question: what's the plan here?

Last off-season, the Metropolitans brought in Curtis Granderson, sending away their second round pick in the draft this June. They also brought in outfielder Chris Young, who has been on a steady decline since 2011 when he hit .236/.331/.420 with exceptional defense. Last year, he hit .200/.280/.379 and was barely above replacement level.

The team also brought in starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, which made a lot of sense on the face of it. Then, the details came out that they would be paying him $20 million over the next two seasons, and the move became very curious. So far, Colon has a 6.00 ERA in eighteen innings.

Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth round out the list, and it begins to look from the outside that the Mets are stuck in some alternate reality where the 2012 and 2013 seasons never happened, or that general manager Sandy Alderson is suffering from a case of selective blindness.

Add to this the fact that Ike Davis has been traded three weeks into the season, and you really start to wonder what blueprint for success the front office is looking at. It's not that Davis is likely to be the thirty home run guy he was in 2012, or even the above-average player that he was in 2010. It's the fact that it took three weeks into the 2014 season to realize that it wasn't going to work out, despite the fact that everyone else could see the writing on the wall long before the organization was willing to pull the trigger.

And now Davis is gone, and the Mets have a reliever and a lottery ticket to show for it. It seems like a miniscule return, but it is one that the team has earned all on their own. And maybe this is the sign of the times, that New York is ready to move on from its past and start trying to forge for itself a better future.

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