It's getting bad for the New York Mets—as if it wasn't bad enough already.
They're 5-13 (one win in their last 10 games) and six and a half games out of first place already. After finishing 47-34 at home last season, the Mets are a woeful 1-9 at Citi Field so far.
From top to bottom, this team is a mess.
They're 29th in baseball in team ERA (5.18), 22nd in batting average (.238).
How long before the vultures start circling, looking for whichever player the Mets want to make available first. Jose Reyes sits atop the list of most attractive trade pieces, but David Wright is inching his way onto that list as well.
It's only mid-April but the countdown to the fire sale has already begun.
And once the fire sale starts, the Mets season will be lost.
Even if the Mets weren't going to trade anyone, this team doesn't look like it's capable of beating anyone. The Houston Astros came into Citi Field with the worst record in the National League. They've now taken two of three from the Mets and quite frankly, look like the better team.
The Mets had leads in all four games against the Colorado Rockies last week, and were swept in embarrassing fashion.
Entering the 2011 season, the projections from the Mets were all over the place. Some felt their offseason low risk/high reward additions would pay off, while others simply couldn't fathom anything working out for the Mets. Personally, I picked the Mets to finish 79-83.
It was difficult for anyone to make a strong case that the Mets would be a contender this season. It was more a question of whether or not they'd finish better than third.
It might be time to adjust our projections.
Are Mets fans watching a potential 100 loss team?
It's very, frighteningly possible.
Right now, the Mets are on pace to finish 45-117.
Take a moment and let that sink in.
When you play baseball "the right way," as manager Terry Collins proclaimed this team would at the start of the season, you shouldn't be on pace for that kind of record.
The scariest part is that there's no way the Mets could actually IMPROVE once they start trading players. A team without Reyes, Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Mike Pelfrey and Francisco Rodriguez isn't going to win more than a team with those players.
Who will still be on the Mets once the trade deadline passes is unknown. But what is known is that someone will be on their way out. After that, the Mets will have to turn their attention to their farm system for replacements and that's not going to make anything better.
Right now, Jenrry Mejia would be the first call-up should the Mets make any changes to their starting rotation. Mejia, the Mets top pitching prospect, appeared in 33 games (three starts) in 2010 and finished with a 4.62 ERA.
Mejia is off to a fabulous start this year at Triple-A Buffalo. After three starts, Mejia is 1-1 with a 0.98 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP.
Mets fans would hope that having Mejia in the starting rotation would mean an improvement, but since when does something like that happen for the Mets?
Fernando Martinez can no longer be called a "prospect" and he's never shown the ability to stay healthy.
The best hope the Mets have, right-hander Matt Harvey and infielder Wilmer Flores are still a few years away (though I wouldn't be shocked to see Harvey as a September call-up this season).
But the Mets are going to have to find ways to fill out the roster once general manager Sandy Alderson starts trading players.
Hopefully the Mets will be able to find a nice mix of major league talent and prospects in any trade package, but immediate impact players will be hard to find.
In any case, it's unlikely that anything they bring in will increase their potential in the win column. Now, if Alderson does the most drastic thing of all and trades Wright, perhaps that will change.
But this is a historically bad team now, and it's not going to get any better after the fire sale.
It will be interesting to see how long of a leash Alderson gives this team before the gears start turning. Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer made it only five games before his release. Second baseman Brad Emaus, the Mets Rule-5 pick this year, made it 14 games before getting the axe.
Mid-May would not be too early to start making players available to interested teams.
The Mets could always let Reyes and Beltran ride out the rest of their respective contracts and take the draft picks as compensation at the end of the season, but that's unlikely if this team isn't within shouting distance of the division.
With a rotation that can't give a quality start, a bullpen that can't hold a lead and a starting lineup with only one player (Reyes) batting over .300, the Mets haven't been able to find ways to win games.
The Mets will continue to play baseball though, or at least something resembling baseball. They'll look to avoid the sweep tonight against the Astros as they send left-hander Chris Capuano to the mound.