The biggest benefit of the new playoff system in Major League baseball is the parody it brings. Every team has a shot. But that’s also a bad thing, and in the Mets’ case, it could cost them big time.
Right now, 23 teams in baseball are within six games of a playoff spot. That’s unprecedented, and is a product of the new playoff format that Bud Selig implemented. However, this means that there will be at least 15 teams that really try to make a playoff push, whereas before, it was limited to 10 or 11 at most. 15 to 20 teams making a playoff push means that there will be fewer sellers and a smaller market.
With fewer sellers in baseball as we approach the trade deadline, prices could skyrocket. No longer will a relief pitcher be acquired for cash and a player to be named later. Now, it may require a legitimate prospect. For a team like the Mets, who are looking like they need to completely rebuild their bullpen, this could be a problem.
Now the Mets may need to give up guys like Collin McHugh or Jefry Marte, two of their better prospects in the organization because the pool of available players is so much smaller. It could become a huge bidding war.
Looking at the trade market from this perspective makes me understand why Sandy Alderson has been hesitant to make a move. He could be giving up more than ever and he knows it. If the new system wasn’t in place, he might have already made a few deals.
A bad decision now could have dire consequences for the future of the Mets organization.