Home Sports David Stearns talks Mets’ struggles, possible trade deadline strategy: ‘We haven’t played like a playoff team’

David Stearns talks Mets’ struggles, possible trade deadline strategy: ‘We haven’t played like a playoff team’

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May 22, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Mets center fielder Harrison Bader (44) celebrates with first baseman Pete Alonso (20) after hitting a home run during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field.

As the Mets have stumbled through the first two months of the season, and their struggles came to a head in May and left them eight games under .500 entering play Tuesday, the president of baseball operations said. David Stearns He is clear about the team at this point.

At the same time, he is not willing to give up.

“We haven’t played like a playoff team,” Stearns said Tuesday at Citi Field during his customary once-a-homestand availability with reporters. “And I think that’s the reality of how we’ve played here for the first 50 games.

“That doesn’t mean we won’t do it, but we have to prove it. I think we have a group of players that are very committed to that goal and determined to play better. But until we prove it, it’s a reasonable question.”

Stearns said last week while speaking at the SNY booth. that the front office was in “information-gathering mode” after saying during a recent road trip to Philadelphia that he still believed the Mets were a playoff team.

If they prove not up to the task of getting back into the thick of things, a second straight sell-off at the trade deadline seems likely.

And if the Mets are sellers again, there’s a chance they could get a very good return for some of their players. who are not under the team’s control beyond this season — including luis severino, JD Martínez, Sean Maneaand maybe Pete Alonso.

But while some teams, like the Miami Marlins, have already waved the white flag for the season, the Mets aren’t there.

“I think the baseball schedule provides the road map for that,” Stearns said of deciding which direction to take. “Usually the trade deadline becomes a turning point in the season and we have a lot of time before that.”

Stearns added: “Throughout the month of July, you prepare for the deadline and have conversations. I think every year takes a little different pace. Every year takes on a little different character for the deadline, but throughout it all You are preparing for the month of July.

“No decisions need to be made until the end of the month either, so we will continue to evaluate where we are.”

As for whether the Mets had already entered into trade talks, Stearns suggested no, noting that he doesn’t get the sense those types of discussions were “accelerating” this year.

Regarding Alonso specifically, Stearns said nothing had changed.

“Nothing has changed with Pete’s situation,” he said. “Our daily goal is to help Pete be as successful as possible so we can win as many games as possible. That’s where I hope we continue to be.”

During his availability Tuesday, Stearns returned several times to the need for the Mets to play a more consistent style of baseball, making a simple point that most fans would probably nod their heads at.

Basically, when the Mets hit well, they don’t pitch well. And when the pitch comes, the hit tends to disappear.

Despite the above, and despite the first two months resulting in a 22-30 record, Stearns still believes in the group he has assembled… for now.


“Based on the talent we have in our clubhouse and the confidence that group has in themselves,” Stearns said. “But I also said in Philadelphia that it doesn’t matter what I think. We also have to go out and do it.”

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