The Mets failed to add enough reinforcements before the July 30 trade deadline, and they are now paying the price at five games back in the NL East with a 60-61 record.
Instead of making moves that would have put them over the top, the Mets' front office acquired Rich Hill, Javier Báez and Trevor Williams.
And as a result, they have lost their three month strangle hold on first place in the division.
But according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Mets were talking to the Cubs about a potential blockbuster deal that would have sent 2020 first-round pick Pete Crow-Armstrong, an even higher regarded prospect and a major league player under multi-year control to Chicago in exchange for Kris Bryant, Javier Báez, Trevor Williams and another major league player.
However, the Mets received the news that their ace, Jacob deGrom, was going to be shutdown with right elbow inflammation just hours before the deadline, which would put him out until September at best-case scenario.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding deGrom's status, the Mets decided to make a smaller trade that would slice the initial package in half in the form of Báez and Williams coming to Queens in exchange for Crow-Armstrong, per Rosenthal. This was decided in the final hour prior to the 4 p.m. deadline on July 30.
Although the Mets still gave up a substantial piece of their future in Crow-Armstrong, they were not willing to part ways with any additional top prospects for Báez and Bryant, who were rentals. Not unless, deGrom was guaranteed to return this year, which was cloudy then and even more doubtful at this point, as it seems as though deGrom's season is over.
As Inside the Mets reported on Wednesday, the two-time Cy Young Award winner is "99.9%" done for the year with right elbow inflammation.
The Mets also failed to get the pitching help they needed even after receiving the bad news on deGrom's first setback. Although they made a play for Twins righty Jose Berrios, Minnesota wanted top shortstop prospect Ronny Mauricio and starting left fielder Dom Smith.
The Twins also fancied the Blue Jays' package more, which featured 2020 first-round pick Austin Martin, along with former Mets prospect Simeon Woods-Richardson who has fallen out of the top 100 prospects list this season, but is still a month away from turning 21-years-old with a lot of upside.
Alas, the injury to deGrom seemingly made the Mets pull back at the deadline by not going all the way in. And now, they are paying the price, as their playoff chances have plummeted from 89% to 11% in the last three weeks.