Having missed out on acquiring the services of Cliff Lee, the Mets will turn to the best of the rest among potential trade targets as they look for an in-season acquisition to help boost them to their first postseason berth in four years.

We know they need pitching primarily, so let’s look at five pitchers who the Mets could target in the next few weeks.

Starting pitching is likely still the priority for the Mets, as they would love to acquire a starter so they could move Hisanori Takahashi back to the bullpen, where he’s more effective.

The numbers back that up, too. Takahashi is holding hitters to a .188/.262/.268 line on pitches 1-25 in his outings this year in 129 plate appearances.

Those numbers go up as the game goes on, with a .315/.378/.573 line between pitches 26-50, and a .459/.474/.649 line between pitches 76-100.

Acquiring a starter would improve the rotation AND the bullpen simultaneously, with the effectiveness of Takahashi in relief.

Although starting pitching will be the top target for Omar Minaya (pictured above at the All-Star Game) and company in the next few weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see relievers looked at too.

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