As the trade deadline approaches with the swiftness of a Reyes romp on a line drive to the RF gap the talk of the Mets being either in the race or out of the race intensifies.  Of course in my opinion the Mets do not have what it takes this year.  It would take a 2007 like collapse of the Braves for the Mets to remain in the hunt.  However, we also know that not all fans are as rational as our readers here at TRDM.  There would be fans that post "fire sale" would feel betrayed and would no longer show up to the park.  Money is money and you have to weigh the loss of revenue vs the revenue saved and prospects obtained.  You also have to look at the effect on the players.  This group of players seem to be on a mission to prove everyone else wrong.  Instead of hearing statements like "we are waiting on the cavalry to return" they are hearing their manager talk about their innate ability to perform acts of "grit".  Would trading away their best player(s) destroy much of the attitude built by Terry and Sandy?So what I propose is more of a Tampa Bay approach.  Why be Kazmir for Zambrano buyers, why be Reyes for AA prospects sellers?  Approach the deadline with competing NEXT year in mind.  If you plan on re-signing Reyes (notice I said plan) then approach it based on what your holes are for next year and what your other ideas of roster reconstruction are.  Do you plan on having K-rod next year?  Most likely not.  Trade him for a young RF that has potential to play next year.  Is a rotation of a recovering Johan, Pelfrey, Niese, Dickey and Gee good enough for next year?  If not then entertain the idea of trading Pelfrey for a setup guy you feel could be a closer.  Perhaps a deal for Beltran can be made for a young pitcher that can step into the rotation next year to replace Cap or even Pelfrey if traded.  Example could you net a guy like Vogelsong for Beltran?  The Giants have an interesting dilemma  already.  What do they do with Zito who is scheduled to return soon?  He's not going to the BP.   They are in desperate need of offense.  Could you make a move for Daniel Bard from the Sox?I have not taken a detailed look at other teams needs and surpluses but in my opinion it is possible that the Mets stay at their current level and "in the race" while also improving for next year.  That is what a smart GM does and what I expect of Sandy Alderson.  Thus to me you take a look at 2012 and think about what it would take to compete then and make moves now towards that goal.  If you do that wisely then you will still have a competitive team this year and not lose the momentum that this team has earned.