3 players who will make or break what the Mets do at the deadline

May 13, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets entered the 2024 campaign with expectations ranging from a 90-loss team to a squad that could realistically challenge a playoff spot. The blue and orange are currently in between, as they are eight games under .500 (27-35), but due to the struggles around the rest of the national league, they are just 3.5 games out of the final wild-card spot.

With the Mets in baseball no man’s land, the next month will play a crucial factor in whether they are sellers at the trade deadline or contending for a playoff spot. Three Mets will make or break what the Mets do at the deadline

Jeff McNeil needs to bounce back from a tough stretch of play in May

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Sep 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (1) runs the bases after hitting a triple against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After taking a step back in 2023, Jeff McNeil has leaped back in 2024. McNeil is coming off a rough month of May where he slashed just .202/.262/.303 with two home runs and seven RBIs, with a 3-for-22 stretch being how the 32-year-old ended the month.

Overall, McNeil is slashing .227/.296/.320 with three home runs and 14 RBIs and has recently been platooning with Jose Iglesias. If McNeil can’t turn things around, the Mets will likely be doing the selling at this year’s deadline.

Edwin Díaz needs to prove to the Mets he still has All-Star potential

The Mets’ bullpen struggles have been well documented, and their star closer, Edwin Díaz, is leading the way. Díaz, who is currently on the 15-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement, has pitched 20 innings across 20 appearances this season to a 5.40 ERA with a 1.250 WHIP and 30 strikeouts while being 5-for-9 in save situations.

The 30-year-old is set to return from the injured list when he becomes eligible and will need to show glimpses of his All-Star form if the Mets were to feel comfortable that they can close out games down the stretch.

What will Kodai Senga contribute upon his return from injury?

Jun 1, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets injured starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) throws a baseball in the outfield before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 1, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets injured starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) throws a baseball in the outfield before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kodai Senga has yet to throw a pitch this season but may be one of the biggest factors in the Mets’ decision at the deadline. The Japanese native threw 166.1 innings across 29 starts in his debut season for the blue and orange to a 2.98 ERA with a 1.220 WHIP and 202 strikeouts and is undoubtedly the ace of the staff.

If Senga doesn’t make significant strides toward returning, it could be difficult to see a path to the playoffs without your ace and force the Mets’ hand at the deadline.

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