With the New York Mets’ season teetering and their postseason hopes diminishing, president of baseball operations David Stearns emphasized patience as the team navigates its early-season woes. Stearns indicated that he is still weighing whether to push for a playoff spot with the current roster or to trade veterans as the July 30 deadline approaches.

“Generally, the trade deadline becomes an inflection point in the season,” Stearns said to ESPN, “And we’ve got plenty of time before that.”

The Mets, who entered Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 22-30 record, find themselves 14.5 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East and 4.5 games from the third NL wild-card spot. Their recent performance has been dismal, losing 10 of their last 13 games and 11-22 since catcher Francisco Álvarez suffered a thumb ligament tear the previous month.

This downturn comes despite the Mets boasting MLB’s most expensive payroll, exceeding $300 million. Stearns acknowledged the team’s underperformance: “We haven’t played like a playoff team. And I think that’s the reality of how we’ve played here through the first 50 games. That doesn’t mean we won’t, but we’ve got to show it and I think we have a group of players that is very committed to that goal.”

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Stearns, who was hired last September, inherited a high-cost roster that was wrapping up a disappointing season, which included trading star pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander at the deadline.

The 2024 season has seen significant struggles from key players. Right-hander Kodai Senga, last season’s NL Rookie of the Year runner-up, was shut down with a shoulder injury during spring training and hasn’t pitched this year. His return is not expected before the All-Star break due to a recent setback. Francisco Álvarez, one of the league’s top young catchers, has been limited to 16 games.

In the third year of a ten-year, $341 million contract, Francisco Lindor is batting .210 with seven home runs and a .646 OPS. In the third year of an eight-year, $162 million deal, Brandon Nimmo is hitting .217 with a .760 OPS. First baseman Pete Alonso, a free agent after this season, leads the team with 12 home runs and a .768 OPS but is batting just .230.

Alonso is a potential trade candidate without a long-term deal, especially as he remains a fan favorite and a three-time All-Star. Stearns could also move other veterans for prospects if the team doesn’t improve. Potential trade candidates include starting pitchers Luis SeverinoSean Manaea and Jose Quintana; outfielders Starling Marte and Harrison Bader; relievers Jorge LopezJake DiekmanAdam Ottavino and Reed Garrett; and designated hitter J.D. Martinez.

“Nothing’s changed with Pete’s situation,” Stearns said. “Our goal is, daily, to help this team succeed as much as possible so we can win as many games as possible. And that’s where I expect we’ll continue to be.”

The Mets have two months to alter their trajectory and avoid a second consecutive year of midseason sell-offs.

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