Mets pitchers to Minaya: Deal for an ace

NEW YORK -- With the New York Mets a half-game up in the wild-card race as the season nears the halfway point, the team's pitchers say they want general manager Omar Minaya to deal for another ace.

"We have enough as it is right now, but there's nothing wrong with improving what we have," top starter Johan Santana told reporters at his charity bowling event on Monday night in midtown Manhattan.

Cliff Lee of the Seattle Mariners and Roy Oswalt of the Houston Astros are both likely to be on the market leading up to the July 31 trading deadline. Either one could be a difference-maker in a tight playoff race, as well as in what is likely to be a wide-open postseason in the National League.

"There's no question, what we're looking for is a championship," Santana added to the New York Daily News. "You get into that category of pitchers, that's what they do. To go along with what we have, there's nothing wrong with getting better."

Right-hander Mike Pelfrey was more explicit. "We've been playing great, but to go out and get a guy like that, it might put us over the top," Pelfrey told the Daily News. "You would definitely like to have those guys on your team. I think those are some of the elite pitchers in the game. It definitely can help if you go out and get them."

Said closer Francisco Rodriguez, "That's not my job, but if you add another top guy to the rotation, we got Pelfrey, Santana and the rest of the guys have done a great job, but if you throw in another big name like that, the chances help us. Pitching wins championships."

Rodriguez said that adding another ace to the staff would help further erase the memory of the disastrous 2009 Mets season.

"Another big name would do a lot of good for us. We're gonna make a lot of people believe. We've still got a lot of stuff to prove after the disaster of last year," he told the New York Post.