Instead, baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline came and went Thursday without so much as a peep from the Mets, who remained too committed to short-term success and too leery of long-term repercussions to do anything drastic.
"There was some activity, but nothing came to fruition," general manager Sandy Alderson said on a conference call shortly after the Deadline. "There were some proposals that we made that were not acceptable, and some made to us that we didn't feel were reasonable. And so while we were active in conversations -- although not super active -- we just didn't make any deals."
Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, teams cannot deal players on their 40-man rosters unless they clear waivers. Those placed on waivers must be offered to all other teams in reverse order of the standings, and they cannot be traded if claimed by one of them. At that point, the club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the claiming team absorb both the player and his salary. If no claims are made, the player's original team can trade him freely.
The Mets are still prime candidates to make a waiver deal, particularly if they fall out of contention in August. But Thursday, as stars such as David Price, Jon Lester and Yoenis Cespedes flew across the baseball world, the Mets were content to proceed with their roster unchanged.
"I think going into it, we didn't intend to be sellers. We didn't intend to be buyers, necessarily," Alderson said. "We were looking at the market and what it would dictate. We set a price on some of our players, and under the circumstances, felt they weren't met. So be it. We're happy with the team that we have. We're happy that we've retained all of our players."
Colon, 41, was perhaps most at risk for trade given his age, success and the Mets' starting-pitching depth around him. But Alderson indicated earlier this week that he believes Colon's trade value may only increase over the season's final two months, making him perhaps a riper trade candidate this winter.
Murphy, 29, would have been a tougher sell given his status as a franchise cog, even if the Mets have made such deals before. The National League's current hit leader, Murphy has never possessed more trade value than he has at this moment, particularly given the year of team control left on his contract and Wilmer Flores' emergence as a potential replacement. The Mets reportedly spent some time Thursday shopping Murphy to the Nationals, who acquired shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians instead.
Tulowitzki, the Rockies' four-time All-Star shortstop, never became more than a pipe dream for the Mets, who would have had to give up several of their highest-ranked young players -- almost certainly including top overall prospect Noah Syndergaard -- to consummate any deal. The Mets could still pursue something of that ilk this winter, needing to upgrade at shortstop and left field amid a thin free-agent class.
"In order to improve the club some significant way, as opposed to some incremental way, we would have had to have been prepared to deal some of our young pitching," Alderson said. "At this particular stage, we're not prepared to do that -- at least in the deals that were presented or were available to us. I actually think if we're going to trade some of our prospects, that we're actually better off doing that in the offseason.