Before I go ahead and publish a primer on Thursday’s trade deadline, I thought I’d post something with some tips for following along as Sandy Alderson and Co. spend the next 24 hours probably not sleeping and making dozens of phone calls.
Tip #1) Not every team fits cleanly as a “Buyer” or “Seller.” As it happens, the Mets are a perfect example of this. They don’t have to sell pieces. They don’t need to (further) cut payroll. They don’t have very many players who don’t provide value. They also aren’t in a position where they can or should give away pieces for the future for a short-term solution. The Mets won’t be in on a rental player like Jon Lester or Marlon Byrd, for good reason. They won’t just give away Bartolo Colon for free. They won’t sell talented players like Jon Niese or Dillon Gee for less than their market value.
Tip #2) Remember that nobody knows anything until it happens. Most of the next 24 hours is pure speculation. Which teams need players at which positions? Which teams want to win now? Which want to rebuild? Which are in between? Some reporters have good sources. They may jump on news more quickly than others. But at the end of the day, no news is news until the teams agree. No reporter can know something for sure until after that happens.
Tip #3) Be wary of fake Twitter accounts and the like. I love Twitter. It’s incredibly useful. But there are also far too many fake accounts purporting to be “real” reporters. It’s irritating. But before you retweet something, or before you assume news is breaking, find a reliable person (see below) and see what they have to say.
Tip #4) Following the Mets gives you options when it comes to news sources. The Mets have a great bunch of beat writers. You can follow any of the people on this Twitter list, for one. In fact, as I tweeted a few days ago, the Mets beat writers are crazy but awesome to follow. So you should follow everyone on that list. Nationally, you should rely on guys like Jayson Stark, Ken Rosenthal, Buster Olney, etc.
Tip #5) MLB Trade Rumors is your friend. If you’ve never used the site, you’re missing out. They constantly cover all the goings on in Major League Baseball. Check it out.
Tip #6) In Sandy Alderson We (Should) Trust. I could write a series of pieces on this tip. Sandy Alderson, especially when it comes to trades, is a magician. He traded two months of Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler. He traded two months of John Buck and Marlon Byrd (who he signed for a pittance) for stud prospect Dilson Herrera and Vic Black. He dealt an aging R.A. Dickey and a pair of mediocre-or-worse catchers for Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard (AND Wuilmer Becerra, another prospect with some potential). Sandy Alderson and the Mets front office knows what it’s doing. They scout well. They judge value pretty well. And they clearly know how to negotiate. Trust them. They won’t steer the Mets wrong.
Tip #7) Most of all, have fun with it. The MLB trade deadline is amazing fun. Rumors flying back and forth, information changing constantly, every team looking into goodness-knows how many solutions to their problems and considering a number of deals. Keep up on the latest info, but don’t get bent out of shape.