2008_07_ibanez.jpgIt’s time for the Mets to go shopping and Omar Minaya needs to find a bat to bolster the lineup. With the Mets in first place and finally living up to their potential, their GM needs to patch the biggest remaining hole in the team and a corner outfielder would do that.

Some will suggest that the Mets sit back and wait for Ryan Church to heal, but that ignores two facts. The first is that Church’s recovery is an iffy proposition. Clearly the Mets mishandled the situation after he suffered his concussion and they are now paying the price for that. Secondly, the Mets’ have an offense with a split personality. Reyes, Beltran, Delgado and Wright are all hitting well for the team, while without Church, the other four members of the lineup usually are not. Fernando Tatis has been great, but are you willing to bet that his hitting will last?

Plugging a player like Seattle's Raul Ibanez into the lineup lengthens it and puts the Mets in a much better position to not only hold off the Phillies, but to make some noise in the playoffs. Omar needs to be cautious with the few remaining prospects he has, but the Mets have a big checkbook and a combination of that and some mid-level talent should get the team what it needs. The Yankees have made their big trade, it’s Omar’s turn now.

Photo of Raul Ibanez by AP/Nam Y. Huh