As many people figured it invariably would, the New York Mets' 2012 season has taken a turn for the worse.
The Mets ended June with a record of 43-36, which placed them just 2.5 games out of first place in the NL East. They're 14-32 ever since and are now 20.5 games out of first place in the division.
Still, the Mets showed earlier in the season that they do have at least some potential. If they make a few moves this offseason, they could very well get back to contending in 2013.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, Mets GM Sandy Alderson views trades as the best way to improve his club this coming winter, which makes sense given the team's financial constraints.
That, combined with the fact that the Mets farm system is still among the weaker systems in Major League Baseball, makes it unlikely that Alderson will be able to make any mega-deals (a la a trade for Justin Upton or Felix Hernandez). Instead, he'll have to get creative this offseason.
Here's a look at six trades that he can make that would put the team on a path toward the playoffs in 2013.
Note: All stats come from Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.