- Last Updated: 4:24 AM, July 8, 2012
- Posted: 11:13 PM, July 7, 2012
The Mets are contenders, and you know what contenders do in July — they try to improve themselves.
Look, there still are 75-win scenarios for these Mets, mainly because their greatest strength, starting pitching, quickly could become a liability. They have limited-to-no depth behind a somewhat fragile group: Johan Santana and Chris Young are defying the odds so far by becoming the first pitchers to thrive following their particular type shoulder surgery; Jon Niese and Dillon Gee are homegrown success stories, but pitchers who have worn down as the season progressed in previous years. And, come on, isn’t there a little part of everyone still wondering just how long the R.A. Dickey magical, mystery knuckleball tour can extend?
But the Mets have this formula: They have overachieved in a year without an elite NL team. It strongly suggests that, at minimum, the wild card will remain in play for them and that finding an upgrade or two could be the difference between, say, 85 wins and the 88 that might net that second wild card.
The Mets are not in position yet to go all in. Their farm system and financial picture are both substantially improved from a year ago, but not enough to make a huge investment of prospects and/or dollars, especially in a year when they are no sure thing.
Still, they owe it to a steadily enthused and returning fan base and to a hard-playing clubhouse to try to address areas of need. But which areas?
With their unwillingness to expend big dollars or prospects, the Mets will be unable to address every shortcoming. Thus, in some areas they are just going to have to gamble that an internal candidate can solve the problem.
That is why they plan to call up Josh Edgin early in the second half to see if he can be the second lefty in the bullpen for which they have hungered. Jason Bay is due back July 17, and they hope he can provide righty balance to the lineup. Matt Harvey has probably reached the stage where, if necessary, he has a chance to help the major league rotation.
But the Mets have no good options to even pray on for the right-handed hitting catcher they crave or righty relief — unless Jenrry Mejia or Elvin Ramirez becomes much more viable … and soon.
So those are the two areas the Mets will need to concentrate upon and, The Post has learned, they already are very interested in Colorado catcher Ramon Hernandez, a long-time favorite of Sandy Alderson. As A’s general manager, Alderson signed Hernandez out of Venezuela in 1994. Hernandez is on Colorado’s disabled list with a left hand strain, but nearing a return. In his absence, rookie Wilin Rosario essentially won the job.Follow @NYPostsports