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Mets quieter than expected at Deadline

After a couple moves in mid-July, New York keeps some top trade chips
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

WASHINGTON -- With a pair of impactful deals in the Mets' recent past, the non-waiver Trade Deadline came and went Tuesday with little commotion. Zack Wheeler went nowhere. Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard stayed put. Wilmer Flores, Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco all remained with the Mets.

Assistant general manager John Ricco painted that more as a commentary on market conditions than a hint at what the team might decide to do in the coming months -- though all indications are the Mets intend to compete for a playoff spot in 2019.

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WASHINGTON -- With a pair of impactful deals in the Mets' recent past, the non-waiver Trade Deadline came and went Tuesday with little commotion. Zack Wheeler went nowhere. Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard stayed put. Wilmer Flores, Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco all remained with the Mets.

Assistant general manager John Ricco painted that more as a commentary on market conditions than a hint at what the team might decide to do in the coming months -- though all indications are the Mets intend to compete for a playoff spot in 2019.

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"We know the talent that we have, specifically on the pitching side," Ricco said. "We were not going to move those players unless it involved considerable talent coming back in our direction. While we had many offers and a lot of dialogue, we ended up not making a deal at this point through the Deadline."

Ultimately, the out-of-contention Mets must spend the next two months determining if they can construct a team capable of competing for the postseason in 2019, or if they're better served beginning a rebuild. If it's the former, the Mets will likely keep Wheeler, deGrom, Syndergaard and others as their foundation. If it's the latter, they may trade one or more of those chips in the offseason.

"All that happened today is we did not make a trade by the Trade Deadline," Ricco said. "I don't think that necessarily means we've committed to one direction or another. What it does is it gives us another two months to evaluate not only the players themselves, but our club in general. It allows us to make a more informed decision this offseason with regards to the direction moving forward."

The Mets' strategy heading into the Deadline, according to Ricco, was to hang on to their pitchers unless another team paid "a premium" for them. No team came close to offering that sort of return. The Mets' front-office trio of Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi and Omar Minaya was similarly bearish on what teams offered for Flores, while Mesoraco and Bautista -- both of them soon-to-be free agents -- garnered little interest.

Adding to Tuesday's quiet was the fact that two players the Mets committed to unloading this month, Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera, both moved earlier in July. In the hours leading up to the Deadline, the player most likely to head elsewhere was Wheeler, whose strong midsummer stretch includes a 2.96 ERA, 44 strikeouts and 14 walks over his last seven starts. But despite plenty of interest on a Deadline day that saw starting pitchers Chris Archer and Kevin Gausman change teams, Wheeler remained a Met.

Video: NYM@PIT: Wheeler fans 7 over 6 scoreless innings

"Everybody here wants to win, from us to the front office," Wheeler said. "Everybody loves this team, and when you win in New York, it's a lot of fun. We want to get back to that."

Injury updates
Third baseman Todd Frazier, who is recovering from a strained left ribcage muscle, homered Tuesday during a rehab game for Class A Brooklyn. He will play again for Brooklyn on Wednesday, with an eye toward returning this weekend against the Braves.

Outfielder Jay Bruce is also making progress in his return from a strained right hip, with plans to take batting practice Wednesday for the first time since June.

Alonso staying put
While manager Mickey Callaway hinted that the Mets may begin giving younger players increased opportunities in the coming weeks, second-ranked prospect Peter Alonso is not scheduled for a callup despite his recent surge -- a .325 average and two home runs in his last 10 games at Triple-A Las Vegas. Instead, the Mets will likely call up Dominic Smith at some point in August, splitting first-base reps between him and Flores.

Video: NYM@COL: Smith legs out his 1st triple in the majors

Waiver claim
The Mets on Tuesday claimed infielder Jack Reinheimer off waivers from the D-backs, optioning him to Triple-A Las Vegas. To make room on the 40-man roster for Reinheimer, the team transferred outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who will undergo the first of his two season-ending heel surgeries on Thursday, to the 60-day DL.

Reinheimer, 26, was batting .237 with three home runs in 219 plate appearances for Arizona's Triple-A Reno affiliate. Capable of playing second base, third base and shortstop, Reinheimer briefly appeared in the big leagues last year for the D-backs, going 0-for-5 in two games. He gives the Mets upper-level infield depth with both Gavin Cecchini and T.J. Rivera rehabbing long-term injuries.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

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