The Mets once again deserve credit, as they overcame a Francisco Rodriguez blown save and outlasted Oakland, defeating the A's early this morning in a rain-delayed, 13-inning marathon.
But really, the Mets' biggest news once again occurred off the field, as the latest report on Ike Davis was anything but good. At this point, a return by Davis this season would have to register as a surprise.
Which brings us to today's title topic. As we sit this morning, the trade market appears as bleak as ever. The obvoius sellers at this juncture appear to be Baltimore and Kansas City in the American League and the Cubs, Houston and San Diego in the National League. From those five teams, the highest-impact player likely to be traded is...Heath Bell?
Many clubs are going to have to rely on internal upgrades; the positive spin is when you get a player back from the disabled list, it's like you're making a trade.
And when you view the teams through this prism...the Yankees might get something. The Mets? We'll get a better idea on David Wright as soon as today, but the outlooks for the other potential "acquisitions" look pretty bleak.
The Mets can't realistically expect Davis back this year, and you can say the same thing about Johan Santana, who is understandably utilizing caution in his rehabilitation from last September's shoulder surgery. Given how serious Santana's surgery was, no one quite knows what to expect from him for the duration of his career, let alone this season.
There's no one in the minor leagues prepared to step up and provide a significant upgrade.
All of this information has to be part of the Mets' calculations, as they continue to deliberate whether to buy, sell or stand pat (as we discussed earlier this week, the Mets could still retain Jose Reyes no matter their in-season strategy). They're now 36-38 and trail the Braves (43-33) by six games, five in the loss column, in the NIL wild-card hunt, with six other teams standing between them and the Braves.
The Yankees, meanwhile, can reasonably expect Bartolo Colon to return at some point, given that he's dealing with a leg injury rather than one to his arm. Can Colon keep pitching as well as he was? Shoot, no one knows the answer to that, but you'd have to think there's a realistic chance that he can.
Phil Hughes has pitched adequately in his minor-league rehabilitation, but he brings his own brand of uncertainty. Given the mysterious nature of his condition, we'll believe he has returned to productivity when we see it.
Derek Jeter should be back next week, and as long as the Yankees lower him in the lineup and let Eduardo Nunez get a few starts here and there, he'll be an obvious upgrade over Ramiro Pena on the roster. And if Eric Chavez can return, then he gives the Yankees a nice bench option against right-handers.
The Yankees also have potential minor-league help in pitchers Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.
Right now, the major-league team that has the best "internal trade" option coming is probably St. Louis, who hopes to get Albert Pujols back in four to six weeks. But the Cardinals (40-34), interestingly, have lost nine of 11. A continued freefall could put them in position to sell.
Two things, though: First of all, the Cards can probably tread water during Pujols' absence to stay in the race. Second of all, their best potential trade chip, Chris Carpenter, is having a subpar season, thereby lowering his value.
--I'll be at A's-Mets today and will check in after the game.