(I simply refuse to believe this picture of physical well-being cannot be flipped for Starlin Castro)

Following the acquisition of free agent OF Michael Cuddyer, persons waiting for the Mets to flip some of their quality pitching surplus for a prominent position player are advised not to hold their breath, as one anonymous exec quoted by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman warns, “this might be the worst time in history to be out in the trade market with pitching.”

“No free-agent starters have signed [except A.J. Burnett],” the executive said. “You have the potential to trade for Cole Hamels or Ian Kennedy or a bunch of other really good starters, maybe even Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann.”

“And every organization now thinks it has pitching. Maybe not as much as the Mets, but more than in the past. No one can find bats. I just think the teams with bats are king right now.”

For example, the Mets have been lined up with the Cubs often as trade partners because New York has tons of young pitching and Chicago a bevy of young bats. But, the executive reasoned, the Cubs also have money. They can, for example, buy Jon Lester or Max Scherzer now and a year from now, when they are better positioned to win, delve into next offseason’s potential trove of Zimmermann, Cueto, etc. And never touch the prospect bats if they do not want. Or just keep hoarding them for trades.

Of course, unless you think a plethora of quality pitching on the market is the only reason Sandy Alderson’s hands are (somewhat) tied, Sherman reminds us that w the Mets “cannot expect a big return for No. 3-5-type starters who come with varying levels of injury concern,” especially not when those starters (Niese, Colon, Gee) come with contracts more likely to make them candidates for a late season salary dump-4-prospects.