David Stearns, Mets have ‘plenty of time’ to weigh trades

With his team sinking in the standings, New York Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns stated Tuesday that he will continue to practice patience before deciding whether to keep the roster intact for a postseason push or trade veterans at the July 30 deadline.

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

The Mets entered Tuesday’s doubleheader versus the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 22-30 record, 14.5 games behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East and 4.5 games from the third NL wild-card spot. They had lost 10 of their past 13 games and were 11-22 since catcher Francisco Álvarez tore a ligament in his left thumb last month.

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All that losing despite carrying the most expensive payroll in Major League Baseball at over $300 million.

“We haven’t played like a playoff team,” Stearns said. “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. That is determined to play better. But until we show it, it’s a reasonable question.”

Stearns was hired last September. He inherited an expensive roster finishing up a disappointing season that involved trading future Hall of Famers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander at the deadline.

The Mets’ struggles this season stem from their core players underperforming — or not playing at all.

Right-hander Kodai Senga, an All-Star and NL Rookie of the Year runner-up last season, was shut down with a shoulder injury during spring training and hasn’t thrown a pitch in 2024. He’s unlikely to return before the All-Star break after a recent setback. Álvarez, one of the sport’s top young catchers, has played in 16 games.

Shortstop Francisco Lindor, in the third year of a 10-year, $341 million contract extension, started Tuesday batting .210 with seven home runs and a .646 OPS. Left fielder Brandon Nimmo, in the third year of an eight-year, $162 million contract, was hitting .217 with a .760 OPS.

Meanwhile, first baseman Pete Alonso, a free agent after this season, was batting .230 with team highs in home runs (12) and OPS (.768).

“They have higher expectations of themselves,” Stearns said. “These are players who have really quality, and at times elite, track records in this league and that at periods of times some guys who have struggled. And great players, top players, fight through that. I think our guys will.”

Without a long-term deal in place, Alonso, a fan favorite and three-time All-Star, is one of several potential trade candidates Stearns could move for prospects.

“Nothing’s changed with Pete’s situation,” Stearns said. “Our goal is, on a daily basis, 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.”

Other veterans Steans could trade this summer include starting pitchers Luis Severino, Sean Manaea and Jose Quintana; outfielders Starling Marte and Harrison Bader; relievers Jorge Lopez, Jake Diekman, Adam Ottavino and Reed Garrett; and designated hitter J.D. Martinez.

The Mets have two months to avoid waving the white flag at the trade deadline for the second straight year.

“We haven’t won enough games,” Stearns said. “And we certainly recognize that that’s going to need [to] change.”

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