The Mets have gotten superb performances from David Wright and R.A. Dickey in the first half. But the club has numerous areas to upgrade: the bullpen, outfield and catcher. Here are a couple of names the club could look into before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Disclaimer: These aren't necessarily names the Mets are engaged in trade talks for. This list is a collection of players who multiple outlets have reported may be available in the right deal. We discussed Rockies catcher Ramon Hernandez yesterday—one player the Mets HAVE been rumored to be looking at—so we'll leave him off the list today.
Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
Upton, a supremely talented hitter and right fielder, may be the marquee name on the position player front. Arizona does not have to trade him—he's signed through the 2015 season. But a lack of production this year has made him expendable. The Diamondbacks would be selling low.
Pro: Upton is a career .276 hitter with a .357 on-base percentage and .834 on-base plus slugging percentage. He has 98 home runs in parts of six seasons. A two-time All-Star, Upton finished fourth in the National League MVP voting last season after hitting .289 with 31 home runs and 39 doubles. He's only 24.
Con: His power has dropped off significantly this season. Upton has just a .401 slugging percentage and only seven home runs. His salary may be prohibitive—Upton earns $6.75 million this year before making nearly $10 million in 2013 and over $14 million in 2014 and 2015. A hitter of his age and production would cost top prospects.
Matt Reynolds, Rockies
The left-handed reliever was reportedly talked about during conversations for catcher Ramon Hernandez. He has a 5-2 record and 3.48 ERA in three seasons.
Pro: Reynolds won't be arbitration eligible until 2014, so he won't cost a lot of money. At 27, he's in the prime of his career and he has a 3-0 record and 3.38 ERA this season.
Con: He's a left-handed pitcher who left handers hit well. Lefties have posted a .267 batting average against Reynolds for his career (righties hit .226). This season, southpaws are batting .288 against him. Righties are at .253 and both groups have an OPS over .800.
Carlos Quentin, Padres
The left fielder has an .840 career OPS and .924 OPS this season. But he's playing for the woeful Padres and could be a big help to a contender.
Pro: Power, power and power. Quentin has hit 36, 21, 26 and 24 home runs the previous four seasons and hasn't had a slugging percentage under .456 since 2007. He would be an immediate upgrade over Jason Bay and allow the Mets to slide Kirk Nieuwenhuis to center (where he's better defensively) and bench Andres Torres.
Con: Quentin is making over $7 million this season. He's been limited by injuries and hasn't played more than 131 games in a season. He's only played in 33 this year.
Ryan Sweeney, Red Sox
There are conflicting reports on whether the Red Sox want to hold on to their 27-year-old outfielder. With Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford returning soon, and Cody Ross entrenched, there may not be room for Sweeney.
Pro: A good contact hitter with an okay eye, Sweeney has a .283 career batting line and .340 OBP in seven seasons. He's still in his arbitration years, so he is controllable. Sweeney makes just $1.75 million this year. He's a plus-defender at all three outfield spots.
Con: Sweeney might not be a big upgrade. He has very little power (zero home runs in 2012, 14 in his career) and lives off his contact. Think Daniel Murphy with good defense.
Huston Street, Padres
The 28-year-old closer could either lock down the ninth inning for the Mets or solidify the back of the bullpen. Closers are an expensive luxury for a non-contending team like the Padres.
Pro: Street is 32-21 with a 3.01 career ERA and 191 saves in eight seasons. He's 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 13 saves this season.
Con: Street makes $7.5 million this season and has a $9 million mutual option for next year. He's been affected by injuries (including earlier this season). But the biggest reason has to do with the Mets bench coach, Bob Geren, Street's former manager in Oakland. “For me personally, he was my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27,” Street said last year. “I am very thankful to be in a place where I can trust my manager.” Street has since said that if he was traded to the Mets he would “clear the air” with Geren, and the two would be “men about it.”