After an 11-1 start to begin the 2018 season, the Mets have hit the skids since then, going 16-29 since — one of the worst records in baseball.
This is coming on the heels of a season where New York finished 70-92, the worst year in the Sandy Alderson era of being general manager.
Despite all this, the Mets GM says that an “extremist” rebuild is not in the cards right now, or maybe even ever.
“Can circumstances change that, yes,’’ Alderson told USA TODAY Sports, “but I think that would be very, very remote. It’s not something we’re even considering or talking about.’’
As of Tuesday, the Mets sit seven games out of first place behind the Atlanta Braves. They have a quick two game series at home with the Baltimore Orioles, who are the cellar dwellers in the American League East, but then have a weekend series with the explosive New York Yankees, followed by bouts with the Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates.
The schedule isn’t getting any easier, and if the Mets continue to reel like they have been, they are going to find themselves with a deficit of double digit games in the East and their season will be over.
Many have speculated, or suggested rather, that if the team finds themselves in a situation similar to last year that they could begin to shop aces Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard to haul in a bundle of prospects.
Alderson, however, dismissed this notion.
“Just because you tear it down,’’ Alderson said, “doesn’t mean you’re going to have a great rebuild. It doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t.’’
It has worked for teams such as the Houston Astros, and more recently the Atlanta Braves, but Alderson suggests it’s never that simple or that success is guaranteed even after a rebuild.
“I don’t know why it’s become so popular,’’ Alderson says, “maybe it’s the product of the extremist. In our culture, you’re either really good or you stink. There’s no reason to be caught in the middle. There’s virtue at the extreme.
“I just don’t see it that way.”
Things could change over the next month, but it still is early June and the Mets are hovering around .500 ball. They got two key additions back prior to Tuesday’s game with the Orioles in Todd Frazier and Anthony Swarzak.
Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes could be back as soon as this weekend, and with those four guys back, things could certainly change in the mind of Alderson.
“I think there can be a temporary loss of perspective because of where we are,’’ Alderson says. “Look at the possibilities when we get players back from injuries. Considering everything we’ve gone through, and all of the injuries, I think we’re fortunate.
“I’m as optimistic at this point of the season as I’ve been the last couple of years. We had challenges in 2016 and ended up in the playoffs. We had challenges last year, and didn’t overcome them. I think this year we’ll overcome them.’’
The general manager really hammered home his belief that this team can turn it around and be successful. And if not, he will take it from there.
“We’ll make an evaluation then,’’ Alderson says. “Who knows what the future will bring? But I’m not thinking that way. I really believe we can turn this around.’’
Actions speak louder than words. Mets have to prove now, not later, that they can be successful. That starts Tuesday.