ATLANTA -- In an interview with CBS Sports, general manager Sandy Alderson said that the Mets do not plan to "throw everyone overboard" and sell heavily before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Alderson added that left-hander Jon Niese, who is having an All-Star-caliber season and is under team control through 2018, is unlikely to be traded.
The justification for trading someone such as Niese would be the potential haul the Mets could receive in return. Successful starting pitchers are rarely available on the open market, left-handed starters are rarer still, and those under team control for another 4 1/2 seasons are most coveted of all. But Niese is also a significant part of the Mets' pitching plan going forward, alongside Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard.
Other trade candidates should the Mets fall completely out of contention are second baseman Daniel Murphy and starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, both of whom have contracts that run only through next season. But citing a desire to remain as competitive as possible, Alderson has been hesitant to deal even obvious candidates in recent seasons, holding onto outfielder Scott Hairston two years ago and waiting until after the non-waiver deadline to deal outfielder Marlon Byrd last summer.
Similar prudence could be in order this month.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.