The 2019 New York Mets season has focused heavily on the transactions which haven’t worked. The Kevin Plawecki trade for Walker Lockett could actually turn into one of the few wise moves.
Over the winter, rookie New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen did plenty to shake up the roster. Between the trades and free agent signings, he gave the organization a whole new look.
One of the deals we don’t hear mentioned much at all is the trade with the Cleveland Indians. This move sent catcher Kevin Plawecki to the Tribe in exchange for minor leaguer Sam Haggerty and a guy we may see plenty more of in the starting rotation, Walker Lockett.
Nobody expected to get much from Plawecki—other than one Twitter user I’ve had harass me with some insistence that the Mets would “rue the day” they traded Plawecki. This may not even be in his top ten worse takes of the last year. I don’t think he’s trolling either.
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Haggerty is a light-hitting infielder who has performed well in Double-A this year. He’s hitting for a good average and routinely gets on base. He did steal 49 bases back in 2017 at High-A Ball so we know where his talents lie. I don’t envision him becoming anything more than a utility infielder for the Mets. But hey, acquiring him for Plawecki, this is a win.
More important is how Lockett develops. The 25-year-old righty has been the man called upon to regularly replace the usual Mets starters in the rotation. With Wilmer Font now gone, Lockett is the one they will test run with for the rest of the year.
The Mets are likely to have two rotation spots open for August and September. Assuming Zack Wheeler and Jason Vargas are both dealt, this gives Lockett plenty of room to show us what he has in the tank.
His recent start against the San Francisco Giants was the first big-league win of his career. While not fabulous, it was a promising performance. Still, he has a long way to go before we should put too much faith in him.
Lockett has made three starts for the Mets this year and none of happened at home. The Chicago Cubs beat him up at Wrigley Field and the Philadelphia Phillies got the best of him down at Citizen’s Bank Park. The Giants didn’t have the same luck at Oracle Park. The traditionally pitcher-friendly stadium worked to Lockett’s advantage. He snapped the Mets’ two-game losing streak and put forth a much-needed positive performance.
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When we think about what BVW did right this offseason, usually the name J.D. Davis sits alone by itself. If Lockett gets his chances and manages to even become a serviceable fifth starter, his name will join the short list of successful transactions.