NEW YORK -- Mets fans need not worry about a complete rebuild for a team that reached the World Series just a season and a half ago. General manager Sandy Alderson assuaged those concerns Friday at Citi Field, despite his expressed willingness to move key pieces at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"This is not a teardown situation," Alderson said before the Mets hosted the Rockies. "This is what I believe is a pause button. We're going to have a lot of players that are free agents at the end of the year. A lot of payroll will become available. We're not looking to rebuild, quote-unquote, we're looking to make sure we have a nucleus of a competitive team going into next year."
Jay Bruce and Addison Reed, both of whom will be free agents at the end of the season, are viewed as the Mets' most viable trade options. Fellow veterans Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda also are not under contract for next season, although their trade value is perceived as less than that of Bruce and Reed.
While Alderson indicated the Mets will occupy a seller's position at the Deadline, he added the team's current homestand -- 10 games against the Rockies, A's and Cardinals -- will give him a better picture of how he will navigate late July. Nonetheless, the Mets will need to post overwhelmingly positive results and demonstrate a potential to go on a run if Alderson is going to be convinced to alter his stance.
"You're always looking to see what transpires over the next seven to 10 days," Alderson said. "But I think we're at the point in the season where things would have to go exceedingly well for us to realistically change direction.
"Not surprisingly, we'll be open to talking to clubs about various possibilities. So, certainly, the next week or 10 days will have a bearing on that, but I don't think we'll have a material impact on our thinking at this point."
While Alderson remained noncommittal on the situation, he said the scenario of moving one of the Mets' starting pitchers exists, but it probably won't materialize.
"I think that's a possibility, only because you never quite know what's going to be presented," Alderson said. "But I'd say that that sort of trade is exceedingly unlikely."
Alderson also said he would also be open to trading with the Yankees, despite a perceived institutional sentiment that the two New York teams avoid doing business with one another.
Alderson also updated the status of several injured Mets:
• Left-hander Josh Smoker is throwing back-to-back days (Friday and Saturday), and he should return in the next three to four days.
• Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey are on the verge of being cleared to begin throwing.
• Neil Walker is "ramping up" his running activity, and he will return to New York on Sunday. The team will monitor how close he is to playing in games, which could be a week to 10 days away.
• Jeurys Familia has begun his throwing program in Port St. Lucie, Fla.