July 30, 2004 the Mets lost to the 1st place Braves in Atlanta by the score of 3-1, dropping them back to seven games behind in fourth place with a record of 49-53. The team responded by trading their top prospect Scott Kazmir for then Rays ace Victor Zambrano. Kazmir is now out of baseball and couldn't even get an invite from his old team (Mets) after an audition but that still doesn't make the trade a sound decision. Zambrano was just holding the spot on a bad team as the farm developed and once it did they became a perennial post season team, Kazmir as a top lefty prospect should have garnered more then that if he was to be traded.
The back story was that after several bad years the Mets were finally enjoying some decent attendance and they were desperate to maintain the revenue flow. Of course, there was spin like the team over achieved and needed to be rewarded (sound familiar), parity in the division gave them a true chance and Mike Piazza deserved one more chance.
It's true that the team was over achieving and within reach of a wild card spot and therefore, should have been rewarded with a trade but a shoot for the stars type of move was ill advised. It's even understandable from a business point of view to want to keep attendance up but again that should have equated to a few marginal moves.
Just like this year's team, the roster was flawed and any chance of making the playoff's would mean that everything broke right for them. Being buyers was fine but not at the expense of the future or at a cost that would have long term effects.
This year seems to be in a similar position to the 2004, they are currently in contention and after several bad years it would be nice to see them as buyers. Of course, the organization wants to see the strong attendance continue but they are a flawed roster and those types of teams tend to peter out in the second half.
A trade for guys like Ramon Hernandez or Huston Street, I would more then welcome but I get nervous when I hear guys like Carlos Quentin and Justin Upton are available. Not that I wouldn't like having either on the team but what they would cost concerns me and it's not like they make us a lock for the playoff's. This isn't a team that needs just one piece to be a lock for the World Series, even with one more piece they need things to break right which would make a big move resemble 2004...