Mets Pass on Trade Deadline for Good Reason

Sandy Alderson keeps his eyes on .500

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Hairston's still here because the Mets still want to win some games.

    The Mets could have gotten something in a trade for Scott Hairston.

    They could have gotten a live-armed pitcher from the low minors or a flawed but useful position player to add some depth to the organization, but they chose not to go that route. General manager Sandy Alderson passed on any available deals and explained his reasoning after the deadline came and went.

    "We're about changing impressions, changing perceptions, and you do that with wins or losses, primarily," Alderson said. "I understand our fans are disappointed over what's happened the last three weeks or so, but it’s not the end of the season. There are a lot of impressions to be made over the remaining two months."

    Naysayers would argue that one way to make a good impression would have been to add something to the bullpen so that it doesn't continue to make a mockery of the idea behind relief pitching, but the idea is a sound one overall.

    Unlike last year, when the team traded Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez, there's no financial pressure looming over the team's head and the work of the last two years has made for a less desperate picture of the overall organizational strength.

    The only real quibble to take with Alderson's statement is that wins and losses are the primary way of changing impressions or perceptions. When your team has just fallen out of contention, it has to go deeper than that.  

    That was evidenced by the fact that Matt Harvey was starting against the Giants on Tuesday night. The start wasn't quite as good as his debut, but three runs in six innings with seven strikeouts is enough to win you games in the major leagues.

    Maybe not on Tuesday, because the offense couldn't do a thing against Tim Lincecum, but Harvey is changing perceptions of the team every time he takes the mound. Zack Wheeler also pitched on Tuesday night and his presence on the horizon does the same thing.

    Alderson and the Mets might as well go for broke from here. Stop playing Jason Bay, a walking symbol of old perceptions, and give his at bats to players like Mike Baxter who can spark the hope that Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis did before they fell off a cliff.

    It might not lead to more wins and losses for this terribly flawed team, but it will do a lot to alter perceptions of what kind of team the Mets want to be.

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    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.