Despite the ugly collapse of the Mets' 2018 season, Sandy Alderson was reportedly unwilling to trade his tandem aces, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Then, however, Alderson unfortunately had to take a leave of absence from his GM duties because of health concerns, and he was replaced by an interim trio -- assistant general manager John Ricco and along with two veteran special assistants.

That new baseball ops group initially signaled a willingness to trade deGrom and Syndergaard, but now it seems the Mets are changing tack yet again. Here's the key takeaway from SNY's Andy Martino ... 

A few weeks ago, Mets people expressed an openness to trading deGrom and/or Syndergaard as a way to facilitate a quick rebuild. The vibe has since shifted considerably, and the team expects to hold onto both at least until the end of the season. 

deGrom has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball this season, and of course he's an established ace. Syndergaard hasn't pitched since late May because of an injured finger ligament, but he's an ace when healthy (in addition to having perhaps the best stuff of any starting pitcher). Each is also under team control for multiple seasons, which of course adds significantly to their already substantial trade value. 

Note, however, the "until the end of the season" qualifier. Perhaps the Mets believe they can revisit this matter over the winter -- maybe after a healthy and vintage second half on the part of Syndergaard -- and get more in return at that time. Or perhaps they want to hold on to both in anticipation of better days. Or perhaps this is an effort to ramp up the asking price.

Whatever the case, the Mets right now appear poised to make the the trade deadline a little less interesting. Thanks as usual, Mets.