Things started off so promisingly for the Mets this year. Their fearsome pitching rotation were finally all healthy at the same time, and many expected the team to make a run at the pennant. Fast forward to today and the Mets are sitting in fourth place of the NL East with a losing record, ahead of only the dismal Philadelphia Phillies. All-Star weekend is around the corner, and manager Terry Collins is desperately trying to do what he can to turn things back around. How did things get to this point?
In usual Mets fashion, the ball club has found itself hampered by a slew of unfortunate injuries that have seen several of its most talented players riding the pine. Noah Syndergaard went down in May with a tear to his lat muscle and Matt Harvey was recently sidelined for several weeks with a shoulder injury of his own. Stop us if you think you’ve heard this one before.
At the start of the year, many pundits pegged the Mets as a trendy pick to challenge the Washington Nationals for divisional supremacy, now it’ll be a minor miracle if the Metropolitans can even sniff at a wildcard spot. We’ve come a long way from a team that made it to the World Series only two years ago. With the state of the roster constantly in flux, taking a shot at the team’s playoff chances are anyone’s guess. Your best bet is likely to come from the broad swath of event odds available at online markets for an educated attempt at making sense of this season. The team is absolutely loaded with talent, but somehow the squad finds a way to torpedo itself in classic Mets fashion.
Things have reached the point that general manager Sandy Alderson has pretty much admitted that he’s ready to wash his hands of the whole ordeal, and the Mets are prepared to sell off a good chunk of the team’s players as the trade deadline draws near. Asdrubal Cabrera has requested a trade after being unhappy with a forced move to second base, and he likely won’t be the last player to head for the exits. Other potential free agents include outfielders Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, in addition to relief pitcher Addison Reed. The fire sale of some top players could free up a significant chunk of cap space for the team, but it’s unlikely that any signings made this year will be able to right the ship.
At this point, it’s highly improbable that the New York Mets will manage to turn things around and secure another playoff spot this year. It looks as though much of the front office is already focusing on next season, but we haven’t even reached the All-Star break yet. It’s still early to call this year a wash, but three months is a long time for a team going nowhere with nothing to play for. It’ll be interesting to see what kinds of moves the Mets make before the deadline, but the postseason is pretty much already out of the picture.
Jim McIntyre is a freelance blogger and editor living in the suburbs of Washington D.C. When he’s not writing or watching baseball you can probably find him tearing up the local CrossFit gym or playing fetch with his adopted pit bull/lab mix, Goober. He’s a die-hard D.C. sports nut, but he refuses to allow that to affect his writing. Okay, maybe a little.