Can the Mets still compete for a playoff spot despite the sell-off?

MLB: New York Mets at Houston Astros, tommy pham, yankees
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets 2023 campaign has been littered with disappointments. The blue and orange entered 2023 with the highest payroll in baseball history and World Series expectations, but as they sit two days from the trade deadline, they’ve done more selling than buying.

The Amazins have already dealt away closer David Robertson and superstar starting pitcher Max Scherzer with more deals expected to come.

This has led to an interesting question amongst fans: can the blue and orange still compete for a playoff spot despite the sell-off?

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Can the Mets still compete for a playoff spot?

The blue and orange are at 49-55 and seven games back of the final wild-card spot. So they are within striking distance, but whether they can still compete depends on three factors.

The first is how far the selling goes. Robertson and Scherzer were two significant pieces, but while Robertson excelled ( pitching in 40 games to a 2.05 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 14 saves), Scherzer struggled (107.2 innings across 19 starts to a 4.01 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP). So they don’t feel impossible to replace.

Many expect Tommy Pham and Mark Canha to go, but if the blue and orange were to sell even further, trading someone like Justin Verlander might tear the team down too much to compete.

The second is what their upcoming opponents do at the deadline. The Mets are slated to have a difficult second-half schedule, but many of their opponents could be potential sellers at the deadline. 

The Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates, and Mariners series could become substantially less daunting post-deadline if they sell as expected.

Of course, that previous factor parlays into the final one, and that is winning the series you are supposed to win. You will not win every game, but dropping a series to the Pirates or Royals can not happen while trying to make up ground.

Regardless of who is left on the roster after the trade deadline, the blue and orange should still have enough talent to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot.