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As the 2010 trade deadline approaches, it appears that for the first time in two years the New York Mets are moving in a positive direction and it looks like the playoffs could be on the horizon if they keep it up.  Let me enunciate on the “if they keep it up”.

The Mets have looked great as of late. The bats seem to have woken up and David Wright has been red hot as of late, delivering big hits when he has the opportunity, which is normally something he does not do. The team has won five straight games going into tonight’s game against the Cleveland Indians.

Additionally, the pitching has been outstanding. Who would have thought that R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi would have pitched as excellent as they have since becoming a part of the starting rotation, due to the injuries of John Maine and Oliver Perez. Dickey is 4-o right now with an ERA of 2.78 and Takahashi is 5-2 with an ERA of 3.48. Don’t even get me started on how good Mike Pelfrey has pitched this season. Sunday, he picked up his ninth win of the season and now has an overall record of 9-1, which is phenomenal. Johan Santana has been outstanding as well, but unfortunately in games he pitches he usually does not get offensive support, which is the reason for his record of 5-3.  Johnathon Niese have even looked superb at times, but he does have some inconsistency in his starts.

In order to make a playoff run, everyone knows that a team must have great pitching. Yes the pitching as of late has been excellent, but I believe it is going to take the addition of one more solid starter in the rotation in order for this team to develop into serious contenders. It is only a matter of time before Dickey and Takahashi slow down because they are not used to being starting pitchers or pitching a large amount of games. Even when or if John Maine and Oliver Perez return, it is safe to say that they can not be counted on either. I mean talk about inconsistency, that word sums up both of their careers so far. They are the two most unreliable pitchers the Mets have on the roster right now. Not to even mention, that the Perez signing has been one of the worst Met signings in recent years.

With the trade deadline approaching, it appears that there are going to be three solid pitchers being shopped around and if the Mets would like to make a serious push for the playoffs, they are going to have to do their best to acquire one of them. These three pitchers are the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Dan Haren, the Houston Astros’ Roy Oswalt, and the Seattle Mariners’ Cliff Lee.

Dan Haren is a pretty good pitcher, who developed as a solid starter in Oakland and then signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008. He has been known to strikeout many batters consistently every year and he doesn’t give up too many walks. He has a career record of 86-66 with a career ERA of 3.68 and 1,132 strikeouts. This year he is having moderate success on a team which is not having a very good year. Haren is 7-4 with 97 strikeouts, but his ERA is pretty high this year as it is up to 4.61.

Roy Oswalt has been a great pitcher for years, but it has been very quiet because of the team he plays on. He has played for the Astros for his entire career and has put on great numbers consistently since 2001. He has a career record of 141-78 and an ERA of 3.23. He is having a bit of an off year this year with a record of 4-8, but his ERA is still pretty decent at 3.16. Like the Diamondbacks, the Astros are also having a very bad year so it is not 100 % Oswalt’s fault for his record. There are a few risks to adding Oswalt. He is getting older and he is entering the stage in ones career where they usually begin to slow down and who knows how he would be leaving Houston after spending basically his entire career there.

Cliff Lee is easily the best pitcher out of the three being mentioned in trade rumors. He has been a solid go to pitcher for years now and has proved that he can perform in the playoffs. Last year, he shut down the opposition in every game in started in the playoffs last year as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. He has some nasty pitches and he is simply one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball today. He won a Cy Young in 2008 after having a season when he went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA.  Lee has a career record of 94-55 with an ERA of 3.91.

The Mets would most likely have to give up some solid prospects in order to acquire any of these pitchers. All three of these teams are out of playoff contention so it is very unlikely they will ask for some big name players in exchange for one of the pitchers. Any of these teams will most likely ask for prospects like starting pitcher Jonathon Niese, relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia, shortstop/second baseman Ruben Tejada, and possibly catcher Josh Thole.

I’m hoping the Mets will not trade away Ike Davis, as he has been outstanding since being called up and is really showing the potential to be a great first baseman  both defensively and offensively. I also think it would not be a good idea to trade Niese away either. He is a rookie, so of course he has his ups and downs, but when he pitches at the top of his game the guy is lights out and untouchable.

Out of the three possible pitchers (Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee), I’m not sure who the number one candidate would be for the Mets to land so I decided to ask a good friend of mine Frank DeGennaro of the blog “Your Everyday Fan” to hear his opinion on the topic.

“Lee is the most likely of the three. The Rangers are in huge talks with the Astros so Oswalt is probably out. The Mets may not have enough for Haren because the Dbacks have a ton of prospects so they will be asking for a lot more. The Mariners are the most desperate right now.”

However, the question is will the Mets make a move. If they do will it be Dan Haren? Roy Oswalt? Or will Frank be correct and the Mets will make a big splash by landing ace Cliff Lee. Only time will tell, but I would be very happy with the addition of anyone of these pitchers because they would bring something New York Mets pitching lacked for years: Consistency.

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