The New York Mets are closer to last place in the National League East than a playoff position at 37-46, and their struggles this season have reportedly led to plenty of speculation about what is next and whether that will include pursuing megastar Shohei Ohtani.

"The continued failure of the most expensive roster in baseball history has fueled a lot of macro speculation around the team's direction—about whether the Mets will be adding or subtracting before the Aug. 1 trade deadline, about whether this will enhance [Steve] Cohen's pursuit of Shohei Ohtani in the offseason," Buster Olney of ESPN wrote.

This is not how it was supposed to go for the Mets this season.

After all, they won 101 games last season, which was tied with the Atlanta Braves for the second-best record in the National League. They kept much of the core together and then went out and added 2022 American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.

New York has the highest payroll in the league in 2023, and the expectations were World Series or bust on Opening Day.