Will New York Mets Be Buyers at Trade Deadline?

Have the Mets, who are 13-4 in their last 17 games and have won seven in a row, shown enough to be buyers at trade deadline?
Sep 17, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets owner Steve Cohen on the field before a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets owner Steve Cohen on the field before a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have won seven straight games, but will it be enough for them to shift course and become buyers at the trade deadline next month?

The Mets are just 0.5 games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks for the third Wild Card spot in the National League. The Mets are still two games under .500 at 35-37, but the NL wildcard race is filled with such mediocrity that they have a realistic chance to make the postseason. The Mets are one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. They are tied with the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants in the standings. Four other teams trail the Mets by a game or less in the standings.

Recent history would suggest that it's worth it for the Mets to try and make a run. The last two seasons have seen the last NL wildcard team represent them in the World Series. The Arizona Diamondbacks did it last year and the Philadelphia Phillies made it to the World Series in 2022.

If the Mets were to buy, pitching would be the top area of need. The Mets' pitching staff ERA ranks 19th in MLB at 4.11. They walk 3.85 batters per nine innings and are near the bottom of the league with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.26. The Mets' bullpen ERA of 3.55 ranks 11th in MLB, but they walk over four batters per nine innings. The Mets' starting pitchers rank 22nd with an ERA of 4.50 and 24th with an fWAR of 3.3.

A lot of the Mets' decisions with the starting rotation could depend on the status of Japanese ace Kodai Senga. Mets manager Carlos Mendoza spoke to the media about Senga on June 16 before their game against the San Diego Padres.

Senga is scheduled for a bullpen session on Wednesday. If all goes well, he will then likely move to facing live hitters. After pitching against live batters a few times, that is when a rehab assignment will likely occur. Senga has been sidelined since late February due to shoulder and triceps injuries. He is expected to require several rehab starts, possibly between three and five outings, before he is deemed ready to rejoin the Mets’ starting rotation. At this rate, he should be in play after the All-Star break in late-July

If Senga has a setback, the Mets will need to explore the starting pitching market if they want to compete. The Chicago White Sox are buried in the standings and will be open for business. Right-handed starting pitcher Erick Fedde is a strong trade candidate on the White Sox that would fit the Mets. Fedde is on an affordable two-year, $15 million deal. He has thrown 87.1 innings this season with 83 strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.09.

The Mets could also bolster their bullpen with one of the best relievers on the market in Tanner Scott. The Miami Marlins' lefty is on an expiring contract that pays him $5.7 million in 2024. Scott has pitched 30 innings and struck out 33 batters to go along with an ERA of 1.80 this season. The Mets and Marlins struck a similar deal last trade deadline when New York sent David Robertson to Miami.

On the other hand, it might not be wise to hold onto expiring contracts that could return prospects and help the Mets rebuild for the future. Being stuck in the middle is a tough spot and the next few weeks will be crucial for the Mets' path of action at the trade deadline.

Julian Guilarte


Julian Guilarte is a baseball reporter and podcaster who has covered the Yankees for Latino Sports and Mets for Rising Apple. His work also includes MiLB, college baseball, and international baseball.