Bold deals at deadline, sweep of Nationals make Mets true contenders – Metro US

Bold deals at deadline, sweep of Nationals make Mets true contenders

Bold deals at deadline, sweep of Nationals make Mets true contenders
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The Mets were one of the more active teams at the trade deadline this year, and for the first time in years they werebuyers, not sellers.

Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, Tyler Clippard and Yoenis Cespedes are the four newest members of the New York Mets. Uribe and Johnson were acquired from the Braves for minor leaguers who don’t project to make an impact in the majors. Clippard was acquired from the Athletics for A-ball pitcher Casey Meisner. And Cespedes was taken from the Tigers for top pitching prospect Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa, a pitching prospect with arm troubles. Aside from the Carlos Gomez debacle, GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets handled the deadline very well and improved their team substantially.

It is encouraging to see the Mets “going for it” this season, as they haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006, when they came up just short in the NLCS to the Cardinals. Though the Mets were just a few games out of first place in the NL East and in good position for a wild card spot when the deals were made, it was imperative that the Mets made these moves if they were to be viewed as true contenders.

The Mets have gotten by on pitching all season long, and more than a few gems thrown by Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom this season went to waste as the Mets could barely get any runs across the plate. The Mets were even no-hit by mediocre Giants’ pitcher Chris Heston back in May.

It was easy to see why the Mets couldn’t score; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, John Mayberry Jr. and Eric Campbell saw way too much playing time in the early part of the season. Injuries to David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Cuddyer (among others) haven’t helped either. Now that Cespedes, Uribe and Johnson have been added to the fold, the Mets figure to improve their offense that was ranked last in batting average and runs scored through July. The call-up of top hitting prospect Michael Conforto has also given the Mets offense a needed boost.

In order to make a push for October the Mets will have to get the better of the Nationals, and their series sweep of Washington at Citifield this past weekend went a long way toward that playoff push. The Mets survived a pair of nail-biters on Friday and Saturday, then the bats came alive in the third inning of Sunday night’s game when Curtis Granderson, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda combined for three home runs on five pitches. The Mets never looked back after that.

Winning the division and getting home field advantage would greatly improve the Mets chances of success in the playoffs; through Sunday the Mets are 38-18 at home, one of the best home records in baseball. But on the road they’re a poor 17-32.