The Mets were essentially World Series or bust when the 2023 season began, and as they open a weekend set with the Red Sox, those lofty aspirations seem laughable in hindsight.

New York certainly has the talent to go on a run, but the Mets come to Boston with a 45-51 record that has them 17 1/2 games back in the National League East and seven games behind in the wild-card race. If it’s not a lost season just yet, the Red Sox could deliver a knockout blow over the three-game set.

If the Red Sox are able to shovel the dirt on New York’s grave, this weekend series could take on importance from a trade deadline perspective. The deadline is just a little more than a week away, and these are two teams with big decisions to make. The Mets could ultimately be sellers, while the Red Sox again find themselves in buy-sell purgatory.

The Mets are unlikely to find anyone willing to bite on high-priced pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. It’s hard to believe the Red Sox would be in on either, anyway. New York reportedly won’t make Pete Alonso available, either. Otherwise, it seems like a handful of players could — and should — be made available by the Mets.

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If that’s the case, the Red Sox will have a front-row seat to scout potential trade assets, should they look to buy. Here are some players that could be worth some extra attention this weekend for the Red Sox.

RP David Robertson
Here we go again. The Red Sox have reportedly had varying levels of interest in the veteran reliever for literal years. They were reportedly “heavy” on him back in 2018. He was a potential deadline option last summer and was an option in the offseason, too, before he signed with the Mets. The 38-year-old is having a sensational season, allowing just 10 runs in 42 1/3 innings while striking out 10 per nine frames. The Red Sox, according to Audacy’s Rob Bradford, have “seventh-inning righty reliever” as one of their deadline priorities. Robertson would fit that role perfectly, setting the table on the back end for Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen.

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RP Brooks Raley
The Red Sox have a handful of left-handed relievers, but none have performed as well as Raley this season. The 35-year-old southpaw is having the best season of his career with a 2.14 ERA in 41 appearances. He induces a ton of weak contact, especially with a soft sweeper that gives opposing batters fits. He probably wouldn’t be a major difference-maker, but he could really shore up a bullpen and be a matchup luxury for a manager.

SP Carlos Carrasco
According to that Bradford report, a back-end starter is also a potential item on Chaim Bloom’s shopping list. Carrasco is the only realistic option in that regard when looking at the Mets roster. He’s having a bad season, though. After turning back the clock with a very good 2022 campaign, he’s struggling this season with a 5.35 ERA in 13 starts. Home runs have been a big issue; Carrasco has allowed 13 home runs after serving up just 17 dingers in 29 starts all season last year. Maybe there’s something in his arsenal that the Red Sox could unlock. For instance, it’s a bit peculiar he’s throwing far fewer sliders this season after it was by far his best pitch last season. He’s an aging, struggling rental, so he’d certainly come cheap.

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1B/OF Mark Canha
It was under a previous regime, but the Red Sox have had interest in Canha before dating back to his Oakland days. He, like most Mets, has had his struggles this season, but he might be a serviceable depth piece. He has a good eye and doesn’t strike out a ton at the plate and moves pretty well on the bases. He could play all three outfield positions as well as first base.

OF Tommy Pham
This one might have been more likely a couple of days ago, but Pham injured his groin Thursday. He thinks he can avoid the injury list, so maybe it’s still possible. The Red Sox are obviously familiar with the veteran outfielder, who signed a one-year deal with New York after Boston acquired him at the deadline last season. He was a solid depth option for the Red Sox in limited time, and he’s been among the lone relative bright spots for the Mets this season. Few consistently square it up as often as Pham, whose average exit velocity is in the 96th percentile of all qualified big leaguers.

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