2. The free agent route
In 2017, there were many moving parts at the trade deadline. Bruce, Duda, Granderson, Reed, and Walker were all moved in July and August, leaving the Mets with many holes to fill come the offseason. Given the Mets farm system was ranked bottom-tier amongst all 30 teams, Alderson was reluctant to part with any prospects of value in a trade scenario. Remember Alderson never wanted to trade Brandon Nimmo for Andrew McCutchen? This decision was not just about money under the Wilpons- Alderson had no interest in parting with any young talent.
The 2023 season was no different as Canha, Pham, Robertson, Scherzer, and Verlander were traded and left holes for Stearns to fill this offseason. If Stearns sticks to his word in building a sustainable winner through the farm system, we cannot expect major trades to be made. We could envision trades similar to that of Jeff Brigham or Brooks Raley last offseason where lower ranked prospects were moved, but nothing in the range of Gimenez and Rosario for Lindor and Carrasco or Kelenic for Diaz and Cano. Bottom Line- The Mets will build around their current core through free agency and keep their top prospects intact for 2024 and beyond.