I once again go back to how Brian Cashman handled the deadline last year for the Yankees. He moved veterans before the waiver period, and brought back solid pieces (several of whom have been in the major leagues already). Were the Yankees veterans more marketable? Yes, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller are better than the players the Mets traded. However, Cashman also received value for Tyler Clippard and an aging Carlos Beltran, comparable to assets moved by the Mets (Addison Reed and production-wise, Jay Bruce).
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Speaking of return, the Mets have stockpiled very similar assets, right-handed relief pitchers. None of the pitchers they received were top prospects. And while stocking up may fortify the major league bullpen at some point, and provide future trade chips, most of the relievers the team has added seem a couple of years away from making an impact.
Getting back to the point of making room for young players, it does not seem, at least for now, that Brandon Nimmo and Kevin Plawecki are the types of players for whom an organization clamors to make roster spots.
The Mets will have many holes to fill externally this off season. Second base, third base, center field, and catcher appear to be among those positions. Add in a potential need for bullpen arms, and Sandy Alderson will be a busy man. With $60 million in salary off the books, he may have money to spend. But will he be allowed to spend it? His most recent comments are not reassuring.
The point here is that this does not feel like a temporary pause. It feels like the organization is in fact starting over. Complicating the matter is that, with the apparent philosophy behind the recent trades and Alderson’s comments about spending money, it seems like it’s a frugal rebuild all over again.
It’s only August. The trades the Mets made may yield a bumper crop of relievers who can help in many ways. They may spend significantly and wisely this off season. Perhaps my fears will turn out to be ill-founded.
I hope that’s the case.
However, I’m just not there right now.