NEW YORK -- There are many indications -- including a well-under-.500 record and a number of veteran pieces that could be valuable to other clubs -- that the Mets might be sellers during this Trade Deadline season. But with fewer than four weeks to go, general manager Sandy Alderson isn't ready to make that distinction, even suggesting that he likes the Mets the way they are.
"We'll learn a little bit more between now and the All-Star break, but certainly, we like the team as it's developing. So I think that in and of itself would make us reluctant to move players at the Deadline," Alderson said. "Now, we're practical as well. We've made deals at the Deadline, and there's no reason we hesitate to do that if it's the right thing. I think our team is on the right track, and as I've said on occasion, I don't think we're that far away. That would indicate some caution when it comes to the Trade Deadline.
"When I talk about being close, I talk about [not just] the second half of this season but going forward."
Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon, Daniel Murphy and Bobby Abreu are among those viewed as possible trade candidates, and most of them would fetch a considerable return, but finding the right trade isn't quite that simple.
Alderson said that his phone hasn't been ringing much -- "Surprisingly, perhaps, to some," he added -- though activity generally picks up in the week before and immediately after the All-Star break. In addition, the Mets' preference is to receive Major League-ready talent as opposed to prospects who would need multiple years to be ready, and that presents its own roadblocks when it comes to matching up with another team.
"If you're making deals at the Deadline with contenders, they're not anxious to give up Major League-ready players or Major League players," Alderson said.
So for now, New York stands pat. Alderson will re-evaluate at the All-Star break, which coincides with the end of a homestand that features a crucial four-game series with the National League East-leading Braves, who just finished a three-game sweep of the Mets in Atlanta.
"A lot will depend on what happens over the next couple of weeks," Alderson said. "There's no question our win-loss record needs to improve pretty significantly."
Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.