What the Mets had last offseason that they don’t this winter
By Tim Boyle
Unlike last offseason, the New York Mets roster isn’t full of guys fans would like to see them move on from.
What did the post-2018 New York Mets have that the current squad doesn’t?
A year ago, Brodie Van Wagenen was a fresh-faced general manager ready to take this team in a new direction. While he didn’t exactly complete the goal, the results were better than the two previous seasons.
The current Mets roster does lack something that it had plenty of in the early part of last winter. When the 162nd game ended, there were a lot more players with a questionable future in a negative way. How would Anthony Swarzak fit into the bullpen? Is there even room to play Jay Bruce on a consistent basis?
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The problem solved itself when the Mets traded both of them to the Seattle Mariners for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. Say what you want about the trade—and remember there may be kids present. At the very least, the deal moved two guys with a questionable future out of Flushing.
BVW didn’t clear out all of the scraps. In 2019, we saw Juan Lagares struggle throughout. Third baseman Todd Frazier also looked like someone the time may DFA at some point. Both of them are gone now, leaving the organization with even fewer players near the end of a contract the Mets could look to dump elsewhere.
New York isn’t completely clear and free of players like these, however. The mysterious Jed Lowrie could qualify if only because we don’t know what to expect from him at all in 2020. Yoenis Cespedes has also fallen from grace. The difference between this pair and other Mets from the recent past who were a roster burden is how these two completely disappeared. Others underperformed.
I don’t believe the Mets have a chance to trade Cano or move Jeurys Familia this year even for scraps. Both are paid too much and the only conceivable way they would change uniforms is if Van Wagenen took back an equal or worse paid player in return.
Instead of last year when we had hope they could improve the roster by trading away players we weren’t so fond of, this year’s trade block includes some guys we like.
From newcomers like J.D. Davis to long-time fan-favorites like Noah Syndergaard and all the way to guys who finally blossomed like Dominic Smith, the Amazins are most likely going to deal away players the majority of fans would prefer to keep. It’s far from a guarantee a single one of those men does get traded.
However, if Van Wagenen insists on shaking things up further, he doesn’t have the temporary veterans to move.
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For better or worse, it is one thing the Mets had more of last offseason than they do right now.