Despite Ken Rosenthal’s column that the New York Mets should be ready to start selling, fans on social media believe it’s too early to throw in the towel on the season.
— John Strubel (@johnstrubel) May 30, 2019
After being shutout Thursday in Los Angeles, and losing three of four games to the Dodgers, the Mets are wobbling around the .500 mark (27-29). They will arrive in Arizona six games behind the Philadelphia Phillies (33-23) and three behind the Atlanta Braves (30-26) in third place in the National League East.
How does that compare to some recent Mets teams that made the postseason?
- 2016: 31-25 (Wild Card)
- 2015: 30-26 (World Series)
- 2006: 34-22 (NLCS)
- 2000: 31-25 (World Series)
Despite that there is 100+ games remaining on the regular season schedule, the Mets are at a tipping point. Do they buy (if possible)? Do they sell? Do they wait?
Even if the Mets are internally circling the wagons, it will not be made public for, at least, two logical reasons:
1. It’s a public admission that the off-season plan was a failure
2. Marketing. You can’t sell hope and optimism if you publicly state the team is looking toward 2020 and beyond.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the Mets won’t start exploring the market to see which players have value. You would have to believe if there’s any interest in Zack Wheeler, Todd Frazier or Juan Lagares, the Mets will actively listen to offers since all three are free agents at the end of the season — and maybe others.
Buying seems like a less likely option, regardless of how the team performs over the next 10-14 days. Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen received his payroll parameters last winter and it’s obvious he has reached his budget. The only additions the Mets have made since Opening Day have come from via the active shuttle from Syracuse to New York and vice versa. In addition, they signed two more spare tires — Ervin Santana and Matt Kemp — making the Mets AAA affiliate one of the oldest minor league rosters.
For now, everyone — fans, media, management and players — are waiting for something to happen. That “something” is a long winning streak or long losing streak or a whole lotta middling that leads to a longer, slower bleed out.