New York Mets have a new approach, whether we like it or not
By Mark Sales
The New York Mets have been active this offseason. While some cry “same old Mets” the approach is different whether we like it or not.
The New York Mets have made some moves this offseason that have left many confused. But there is one thing that is clear to all, and that is the Mets are going all in for 2019.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen made it clear at his introductory press conference that his goal was to win now as well as in the future. It didn’t take long for Brodie to prove it, his first move was to trade for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.
"“I think that I am willing to be successful, and willing to fail at the risk of being successful.” -Brodie Van Wagenen"
In the trade, the Mets parted ways with Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Gerson Bautista, Justin Dunn, and Jarred Kelenic. Shedding the contracts of Bruce and Swarzak made this trade an even swap financially. It was the other pieces that had Mets fans up in arms.
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Kelenic was the Mets first-round draft pick in 2018. Dunn was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016. They were both sent to Seattle as part of the trade. It’s easy to see why fans were skeptical of the trade, but the move just proved that Brodie Van Wagenen was going to stick to his word.
During the MLB Winter Meetings in December, rumors were swirling left and right about the Mets interest in Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. The Marlins demanded major league ready talent like Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Amed Rosario in addition to prospects.
It was at this time where we learned even more about Van Wagenen’s master plan. He refused to create an opening somewhere on the Major League roster just to bolster another position. He soon signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal.
There were also rumors of a Noah Syndergaard trade earlier in the offseason. The talks were confusing, to say the least, since that would go against the plan of contending in 2019. It is now said to be very unlikely that Syndergaard will be traded.
This past weekend, the Mets made a few trades. First, they traded Adam Hill, Bobby Wahl, and Felix Valerio to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Keon Broxton. Broxton is a defense-first player who dazzles with his glove, he also has some upside with the bat with potential to hit 20 home runs.
Next, they traded Luis Santana, Ross Adolph, and Scott Manea to the Houston Astros for utility man J.D. Davis and minor league infielder Cody Bohanek. Davis can play corner infield and corner outfielder, and he hits left-handed pitching very well.
Finally, they traded Kevin Plawecki to the Cleveland Indians for infielder Sam Haggerty and RHP Walker Lockett. Haggerty is a minor league infielder and Lockett has a cup of coffee in 2018 and will serve as rotation depth this year.
So to sum it all up, the Mets traded six minor leaguers and Plawecki in exchange for an outfielder who will compete for time with Juan Lagares, an infielder who will likely assume Wilmer Flores’ role, a pitcher who will serve as depth, plus two minor league infielders who probably won’t reach the majors in 2019.
Broxton and Davis are both players with upside but were on teams where they weren’t able to get enough at-bats. You could make an argument that the Mets traded six players with upside for two players with one, however, the two players they got have potential to contribute to the team in 2019, further clarifying the team’s goal.
There are many ways to look at the Mets new approach. The positive approach would be to see that the Mets are finally willing to give up minor league talent for Major League ready talent. After all, it isn’t Brodie’s fault ownership is unwilling to spend big money. At least he is being creative.
It’s hard to forget how easily the Mets gave up on future stars like Carlos Gomez, Justin Turner, Scott Kazmir, and Joe Smith. Fans understandably have problems letting go of young players with potential so easily because of players like this.
However, for every Turner, there’s a Fernando Martinez, Lastings Milledge, Rafael Montero, Eddie Kunz, and even Gavin Cecchini. Players who had all the value in the world before they even reached the Majors. Imagine who the Mets could’ve gotten for those guys while they were top prospects?
The point is, you just don’t know how prospects will turn out 5-10 years down the road. Kelenic could be Mike Trout, or he could be the next Milledge. Dunn could be Pedro Martinez, or he could be Rafael Montero. It’s worth trading a bundle of question marks for someone who is ready to contribute to your team and fill a hole on the Major League roster if your plan is to compete right now.
We could look back at these trades years from now and say that they were big mistakes. Or we could look back and not even remember the names of the minor leaguers. You can argue that you don’t think the Mets got enough value for the amount of potential talent they gave up.
But this is just the new way of the Mets front office.
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There are a lot of new faces in office now, faces that are not attached to the minor league talent they have since they did not acquire them, so they will be more than willing to give up what they need to get who they want within reason.