Terry Collins said this past weekend that he isn't currently focused on the Wild Card race. Instead, he's preaching to his team a goal of getting to 90 wins.
"You can't just throw up the white flag and say the season is over,'' Collins said before losing on Sunday. "I said going into the break, let's win 51 of the 76 left. That's got to be our goal, get to 90 wins and see where we're at. I don't think for any stretch of the imagination that this is over yet.''
To win 90, the Mets must win 67 percent of their remaining games to go 49-24. In other words, they need to win every series they play, despite winning just half the series they have already played this season.
I like that Collins is still setting lofty goals. But, more realistically, at best, the Mets will end this season with roughly 80 wins, which is probably why Sandy Alderson said this past weekend that he has no intention of abandoning ship and rebuilding the Mets. Instead, he plans to hit pause on their ultimate goal of winning a World Series, while trading veteran players with expiring contracts this summer and hoping to improve their situation for next season.
It's frustrating, especially given pre-season expectations. But, it's the right approach.
Alderson doesn't have the assets to acquire significant prospects that can help reshape the franchise. He doesn't have an Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller -- like Brian Cashman had last year -- when the Yankees were able to totally rebuild their farm system in the span of a week.
Instead, Alderson has enough trade-worthy players -- all of whom can be free agents after this season -- that are seeing interest. And if moved now, they could possibly help Alderson acquire useable young talent and -- at the very least -- minor league depth for next season.
Aug 4, 2016; Bruce celebrates a three run home run with Granderson. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
As a result, after talking to people at Citi Field this past weekend, I firmly believe Addison Reed will be dealt within the next two weeks. There's a really good chance the Mets also trade away Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jay Bruce, and I wouldn't expect a ton of talent coming back in each deal.
In regard to Bruce, I believe they're on the fence about dealing him, which is hysterical given how much trade buzz surrounded him just six months ago. But, while he's hitting a home runs and increasing his value on the trade market, there are some people in the organization who are open to keeping him beyond this season since he's shown an impressive ability to adjust to adversity and handle New York.
In either case, familiar faces will be leaving... and sooner rather than later.
And once that happens, Triple-A 1B Dominic Smith and SS Amed Rosario will almost certainly be promoted, and the clubhouse dynamic will change, and hopefully Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia will return, and the year will pivot toward a new story.
Despite TC's admirable goal of still wanting to win 90 games, the new 2017 narrative may end up being how Alderson gets from this year to next in a way that doesn't deject fans and his remaining players.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...