Legends On Deck

Are The Yankees and Mets Sellers or Buyers?

As the 2nd half gets started we wonder what to expect from the two New York baseball teams. Are the Yankees going to go into the trading deadline as buyers or are they going to be sellers again? Are the Mets going to be buyers or sellers.?

A month ago I probably would have thought both teams were going to be buyers. The Yankees were in first place and the Mets were starting to get their stars back from injuries and were looking to go on a run. Well since then the Yankees had a rough three weeks and are now tied in 2nd place with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Mets have gone down to fourth place in the NL East with a 39-47 record, 12 games out of first place and 10.5 games out of the 2nd wildcard. There is still a little less than half a season to go but without both teams filling huge holes both are not a sure thing to make the playoffs.

Let’s look at the Yankees; they are currently 3.5 games behind the Red Sox and tied with the Rays for the 1st wildcard spot, but have not shown that they are going to go on an extended run as their bullpen has fallen apart. Dellin Betances can’t find the strike zone, Tyler Clippard has been awful and their closer Aroldis Chapman has not been the same dominating pitcher as before his shoulder injury. The Yanks don’t have a reliable lefty reliever and their starting rotation has been shaky. As for their offense, it’s been inconsistent, due to injuries to Starlin Castro, Matt Holiday and Aaron Hicks, who are all terrific hitters. Besides Aaron Judge who has been amazing, they have had to rely on the inconsistent guys like Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury, who have not produced as expected. But this is nothing new since both have signed with the Yankees.

The Yanks have had to rely on the baby bombers and they have done more than expected, especially Judge and Gary Sanchez. You expect the veterans to carry the team which would take some pressure off the younger players. Chris Carter was a disaster at 1st base as well as Headley manning 3rd base. I believe the Yankees have to be sellers and buyers. They need to try and trade Headley, and maybe Brett Gardner only because they need to create space for Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks.

They might be able to fill some holes by trading Gardner who still has some value. Headley does not have much value and Ellsbury’s contract is almost unmovable, which the Yankees are stuck with for at least three more years. They need a third baseman and a first baseman. But it may be a great thing that on Thursday, they completed a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, sending reliever Tyler Webb for minor league first baseman Garrett Cooper. The Brewers prospect has been playing on their Triple-A squad this season and received a selection to the Triple-A All Star Game. In 2017, he is hitting .366/.428/.652, with 17 homers and 82 RBIs.

The Yankees need to straighten out their bullpen, get back their injured players and maybe they can make a run for one of the wildcard spots. Either way they should be very careful not to trade off their best players for a rental. I think if they are patient, this team will eventually develop into a World Series contender in the next two years.

Now onto the Mets, what can I say, they have a terrible bullpen, outfield defense is not good, their starting pitchers are either hurt or not pitching well enough and their infield defense is also suspect. The Mets need to be sellers. They need to trade for a center fielder and third baseman, and either leave T.J. Rivera as the everyday second baseman or trade for one.

Lucas Duda is not the answer at first base and Travis d’Arnaud is terrible behind the plate and cannot throw out base runners.  Not to mention he is barely hitting his weight, batting just .223, his worse batting average so far in his career as a Met.

One would have to figure the starters will be back, but they need better relievers who will not blow leads. So trade away some of the dead weight and try restructure this team after their dynamite starters, with defense and speed. Hitting a lot of home runs has not helped, may be getting on base and stealing bases might create more offense.

With pitchers like Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler leading the staff this year, the Mets could make some type of run if they can get back some good pieces by the Trading deadline. Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard are due back soon and that should help. The Mets also might need new leadership with the mentality of trusting the young players as the Yankees are doing by letting them develop in the final three months of this season. The fans seem to enjoy watching the younger players than watching someone who seems to be going through the motions and not playing hard.

Elias is a native of the Bronx, NY and a lifelong baseball fan. In High School, he once pitched a gem on the same field as Ed Kranepool and grew up rooting for both the Mets and the Yankees. Elias is a retired NYPD and Ocala, FL Detective and spends his quality time with family and writing about the game he loves.

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