Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Mets’ David Stearns isn’t ready to declare team sellers this far ahead of trade deadline: ‘Plenty of time’

Two months into the 2024 season, the New York Mets are 22-30 and 14.5 games back in the NL East, and they’ve lost 22 of their last 32 games. Despite that, the Mets are only 4.5 games out of a wild-card spot thanks to widespread mediocrity in the National League, and POBO David Stearns is not yet ready to declare the team trade deadline sellers.

“We’ve got plenty of time before (the deadline),” Stearns said pregame Tuesday (via the New York Post). “Throughout the month of July, you are preparing for the deadline and having conversations. I think every single year takes on a little bit of a different pace. But throughout the month of July, you’re preparing. You also don’t need to make decisions until the end of the month. So we’ll continue to evaluate where we are.”

New York’s postseason odds have dipped from 40.4% on Opening Day to 15.3% going into Tuesday’s doubleheader with the Los Angeles Dodgers, per SportsLine. FanGraphs has similar numbers: 29.0% on Opening Day to 12.9% on Tuesday. The Mets have talent and certainly could go on a run, but the Mets underperforming their talent is kind of their thing.

If the Mets do sell at the trade deadline, free agent-to-be Pete Alonso suddenly becomes the best power bat on the market. The two sides have discussed an extension at various points in recent years, though a few weeks ago Stearns acknowledged Alonso hitting the open market is the most likely outcome. Owner Steve Cohen said the same earlier this month.

In addition to Alonso, Stearns could also peddle starters Sean Manaea, Jose Quintana, and Luis Severino; outfielder Harrison Bader; and relievers Jake Diekman, Jorge López, and Adam Ottavino. They are all rentals. Would the Mets considering moving a player signed beyond 2024 like, say, Jeff McNeil? It can’t be ruled out even if it seems unlikely.

The Mets disappointed last season and sold at the trade deadline, leveraging Cohen’s wealth by eating salary to receive higher quality prospects in return. They did that with David Robertson, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander. It stands to reason they would take the same approach at this trade deadline and continue building toward the future.

If the Mets don’t get their season back on the rails, Stearns & Co. could be very active at the deadline. They have plenty of rentals to trade and would be a trade match for just about every contender. And, obviously, Alonso’s future would be front and center. The team’s poor play could hasten his exit, if not guarantee it.

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