Already this September, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made a trade for New York Yankees left hand pitcher Phil Coke. And the San Francisco Giants swung a deal with the Atlanta Braves for infielder Gordon Beckham. The Pirates magic number for elimination is one, as a single loss or a single Giants win will end the Pirates run of three consecutive postseasons. The Giants, dealing with injuries infielders Brandon Crawford and Eduardo Nunez, need another infielder to help them extend their season.
The New York Mets have been suffering through injuries themselves all season. However, the injuries to their starting pitchers may cost them a chance at making it to the postseason. Having started the season with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Bartolo Colon, with Zack Wheeler expected to be a reinforcement, only Syndergaard and Colon will ever pitch again this season. The Mets have been fortunate to get some gutsy performances from second tier guys like Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. With Syndergaard missing his Saturday September 24th start due to sickness, the Mets turned to Sean Gilmartin to make a start, one in which the left hander failed to get out of the first inning against the Phillies. With Syndergaard scheduled to pitch tonight against the Marlins, Lugo to pitch tomorrow and Gsellman to pitch Saturday, the Mets have to choose a starting pitcher for Friday against the Phillies. The Mets options are not very encouraging as manager Terry Collins will have to choose from Gilmartin, Rafael Montero, Logan Verrett and Gabriel Ynoa to pitch what could be their biggest game of the season.
In 1987, the Mets were in a similar situation in regards to pitchers getting injured. Battling for the National League East division, the Mets made a trade after the deadline for players to be eligible for the postseason roster. The Mets traded two minor league players to the California Angels for veteran lefty John Candelaria. Candelaria many three starts for the Mets at the end of September for a team that ended up losing out to the Cardinals. Of course, the Cardinals ended up going to the World Series that season, losing to the Minnesota Twins in seven games.
Making a trade like this is not easy in the last week of a season. Things have to be factored in such as when a pitcher pitched last, could they start Friday as well as travel concerns. And most importantly, does the option give the Mets a better chance to win on Friday than Gilmartin, Montero, Verrett or Ynoa? Some options include the Angels Jyoulys Chacin, the Padres Edwin Jackson and the Pirates Ryan Vogelsong.