If we don’t see any New York Mets baseball in 2020, will the offseason Brodie Van Wagenen had look worse?
We still don’t know what type of baseball we’re going to get in 2020. Will we even get 81 games? Will there be some kind of tournament? Or will 2020 be remembered—among other more important worldly events—as the year where we didn’t get to see any New York Mets baseball?
The Mets had an active offseason adding Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha as potential rotation options. Along with them, the club signed free agent reliever Dellin Betances to help improve the bullpen.
Perhaps their fourth-biggest move of all was the Jake Marisnick trade with the Houston Astros. Sprinkle in other more minor moves along the way, it was a productive offseason that seemed to set them up well for a championship run in 2020.
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Knowing what we do now about the 2020 season, which isn’t nearly enough, we can reassess the damage. Has Brodie Van Wagenen’s once seemingly successful offseason gotten worse on paper?
None of the moves the Mets made in the offseason will really impact this judgment. Every free agent can re-enter the open market yet again this winter. There’s no real damage done either from the Marisnick trade more than would have happened if we played the 2020 campaign as normal.
However, some of the past moves the Mets made are now more questionable. Notably, the two biggest trades made under the Van Wagenen regime are a little more painful right now.
The 2019 trade deadline deal for Marcus Stroman was supposed to help set the Mets up to compete in 2020. Well, the best-laid plans of mice and men did go astray. The team is getting a whole lot less from Stroman from this deal.
It’s possible this could now become one of the all-time worst deals in Mets history simply for how little they got to use him. Certainly, if BVW knew what was coming, he wouldn’t have made the move.
Those who are headstrong in hating the trade may feel at least some mild relief in 2020 because it at least saved a full year of watching those two play. Using a little more common sense, it’s a shame because Cano will inevitably decline faster and Diaz has one less year to figure things out.
All across baseball, I’m sure there are offseason moves that look far more painful without a 2020 season. Even in a limited capacity, trades involving veterans for prospects now swing more in favor of the teams that acquired the minor leaguers. Many hopeful contenders built their franchise in 2020 to win now. Considering the number of free agents the team has at the end of 2020, it’s even more obvious this was the plan.
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We cannot fully grade Van Wagenen’s offseason any differently because of the curveball thrown at us by the universe. No one saw it coming, especially not BVW and his crew more than a year earlier when they were making trades to help the team in the short-term.