The Mets seem to be shying away from the trade deadline spotlight.

For a team that seemed to be a strong contender in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes only a short while ago, their activity has significantly regressed. And now, with busy teams like the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Mets are looking even more quiet.

Lately, the Mets’ most notable trade talk included the notion of Jeff Francoeur moving to the Royals. Even their presence in the market for remaining starting pitching has lacked. So the question is now; realistically, how should the Mets approach the impending deadline?

At the moment, it seems that the inactivity might continue, give or take negotiations for more help at middle relief. This transition from big time buyers to simple deadline dealers has come rather quickly. 

Once Cliff Lee bounced to Texas, the Mets began to realize that they didn’t have package of prospects that the sellers are looking for. Roy Oswalt’s name surfaced in Mets trade talk, but with him off the board and heading for Philadelphia, the market for starting pitchers is drying out.

Other teams out there were willing to part ways with top offensive prospects like Justin Smoak or Wilson Ramos, in order to make a deal. The Mets weren’t interested in doing so, and to that effect didn’t have enough Major League-ready talent that the team was willing to offer.

It is that time of year again where the Mets season is swinging in the balance, and a move or lack thereof could be the difference maker. A big move may be out of reach now.

If the Mets were looking for a big name starting pitcher to trade for, the time has passed. And starting pitching might not even be a need now.

First of all, the remaining names in starting pitching that the Mets could entertain primarily include Ted Lilly of the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros’ Brett Myers.

The Mets might be just as well off avoiding both of these guys. Lilly is having an all-around decent year, but is struggling against left-handed hitting. That won’t do the Mets any good when they bump into hard hitting division rivals like Ryan Howard or Adam Dunn.

Myers carries the baggage of having a troubled past off the field. He is tossing with a nice 3.10 ERA right now, but prior to 2010, Myers spent time with the Phillies turning in some solid but spotty pitching.

Joel Pineiro is another possible name, but all in all, none of these pitchers are difference makers and should not be worth giving up any volume of prospects for. This Mets starting rotation has pitched some very solid baseball in general this year, and might be just fine without a new addition.

Despite a couple of minor bumps in the road, Santana has still been very effective. Mike Pelfrey had a hot first half and even though he has struggled of late, he doesn’t lack in confidence and he can bounce back. As a young southpaw, Jon Niese is developing perfectly while turning in some great pitching.

And of course, the Mets must continue riding the red hot arm of R.A. Dickey, the most unlikely success story on this Mets pitching staff. He has put together six quality starts in a row. Additionally, the Mets could work in Hisanori Takahashi into the back end of the rotation if Ollie Perez can be a serviceable option in the bullpen.

This starting rotation might not need to be meddled with.

If the Mets are going to seek out a pitcher, it might be to acquire a low-cost reliever like a Scott Downs or Chad Qualls. The Mets missed their chance to make a minor upgrade when trade talks with the Red Sox hit a snag when Rod Barajas went down on the DL. The Mets would have shipped Barajas to Boston for reliever Ramon S. Ramirez.

Since the deadline, the Mets lineup has been mostly responsible for their immediate downturn. These struggles make fans groan even more knowing that it is the Mets’ best lineup out there playing everyday. With the core intact, moving any of these franchise players will not happen.

The Mets core players like Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and David Wright indicate that adjustments to the lineup aren’t a need. Even rookie Ike Davis has already proven himself as indispensable. On paper, the lineup is potent and doesn’t require change.

Don’t even expect Jeff Francoeur to be moved anywhere at this point, now that Jason Bay could be headed for the disabled list with a concussion. If the Mets were looking to bolster the lineup at all, they would have likely made moves on big bat infielders like Jorge Cantu or Dan Uggla already.

It seems like the Mets will not be making much of a splash now that trade talks are coming down to the wire. Expect the Mets to make a move on a relief pitcher that will cost them just one or two mid-level prospects.

More bullpen depth is what this Mets team is lacking, and another experienced arm could create more reliable options in close situations.

Read more MLB news on