(Long Island, N.Y.) With a flurry of activity the week of the Major League Baseball trading deadline, one would suspect that things will be fairly quiet from now until Saturday at midnight. But neither the Yankees nor Mets have made any moves and it would be an unlikely dealing period without the two big market teams making some noise.
Both clubs are looking to upgrade their pitching, in the starting rotation and bullpen. For the Bronx Bombers, it is more of a luxury and a replacement for the injured Andy Pettitte, who is expected to be out at least another month. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman thought he had Cliff Lee, the solid lefthander and soon-to-be free agent. But the Seattle Mariners switched direction at the last moment and sent him to the Texas Rangers.
With the best record in baseball (65-36) and a playoff spot all but assured of them, the Yankees do not need to make any moves at this time. Anything they do will be a spare part or middle reliever addition.
The Mets could have used Lee but were never in the mix for him. They also have a big decision to make – stand pat with their surprising youngsters or package a few of them for a veteran and a playoff run.
Their abysmal west coast road trip following the All-Star break put them out of the mix for both the division and wild card, but the Mets then took two of three at home from the St. Louis Cardinals. With that can bring a sense of false hope and a possible deal. If Mets general manager Omar Minaya feels that the team can be a contender, he may pull the trigger and make a panic move.
Right now, the Mets have been able to integrate some talented youth into their line-up. Players such as first baseman Ike Davis, catcher Josh Thole and lefthanded starter Jonathan Niese have all contributed this season and can form a nice core for years to come.
If any of these players are dealt away, then Minaya is taking a huge gamble. But he may be looking to save not only manager Jerry Manuel’s job, but also his own. Both are safe for now, but if the Mets do not make the postseason, then it will be a long winter for them.
Only two games over .500 (52-50), the Mets are staring up at five teams in the wild card race and are 6.5 games back in the National League East. Without a lot of help from the teams above them, the Mets will find themselves out of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
As it is, the Philadelphia Phillies went out and acquired starter Roy Oswalt from the Houston Astros. The righthander has been on the Mets radar for years and now their divisional rivals will be adding him to a rotation that already includes Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels.
The way things appear right now, both the Mets and Yankees front offices are better off enjoying the warm weather on Saturday and let the other general managers burn up the telephone lines.