During a recent conversation about the Mets’ deep-pocket disappointments, Francisco Lindor, the front-facing star shortstop emblematic of his team’s struggles, stretched the syllables of his words as if willing them into existence.

“It’s going to get better,” he said in a calm tone. “I truly believe that we will get better.”



Those are the questions that linger over the most expensive baseball team of all time.

Last winter, with the Mets coming off a playoff appearance, Steve Cohen shocked the sport’s other owners by investing approximately $445 million, including tax penalties, to do more winning. It was the clearest sign yet of the billionaire owner’s resolve to reimagine a franchise that had long carried the stigma of being second rate. But through the first two-plus months of the season, the Mets have instead done more losing. From a long-distance view, the Mets’ failure has offered a reminder that it takes more than money to build a winner. Get closer, and the downturn reeks of disappointment.

In the National League East, the Mets (34-40) trail the Braves by a whopping 13 1/2 games, their largest gap from first place on the first day of summer since 2003. Recently, some veterans have surmised privately that winning the division already appears unlikely, though those same players expressed a strong belief that as long as they stay healthy, they could turn things around and make the playoffs. Inside the clubhouse, the players who would be responsible for a turnaround count up the remaining games, point to the successful track records surrounding them and expect things to change.