The Mets have nothing going on

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For the second year in a row, the Mets are prepared to sit out the trade deadline, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, even as they seem well on their way to a fifth straight sub-.500 season.

The Mets haven’t shown any interest in moving pieces like closer Bobby Parnell and second baseman Daniel Murphy, and the lone veteran they seem open to moving, outfielder Marlon Byrd, isn’t drawing much interest from contender, even though he’s been very useful while hitting .282/.325/.512 with 17 homers in 330 at-bats this season.

While the Mets certainly have their reasons for keeping players like Parnell, Murphy and right-hander Dillon Gee, the fact is that they have to give something to get something. And since they’ve been unable to sign veterans and turn them into summer trade bait, all they really have to barter with is the young-ish players they’ve developed themselves.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?