The case to say former Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen was better at trades
Van Wagenen’s best trade might be the steal of J.D. Davis from the Astros. A seemingly fading prospect, Davis managed to become a huge player for the Mets in his first year with the club in 2019. His status with the club in 2022 is a little indifferent. Regardless of what you think, it wasn’t a bad trade.
We should also include some of the other questionable deals he may as either successes or stalemates. In mid-2020, he traded pitching prospect Jordan Humphreys to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Billy Hamilton. A waste of a deal, it didn’t actually come back to bite the Mets as much as it could have.
Van Wagenen also picked up Miguel Castro from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league pitcher Kevin Smith. Again, panned at the time because of his poor track record, it worked out pretty well with Castro tossing more innings in relief for the Mets in 2021 than anyone else.
A year earlier, Van Wagenen made an even bigger deadline splash when he brought Marcus Stroman in from the Toronto Blue Jays. Yet again, it was a trade involving several top pitching prospects for the organization. Anthony Kay has since faded but Simeon Woods-Richardson, now with the Minnesota Twins organization, has a chance to define whether or not it was a good trade. The verdict has yet to come in on this trade.
Because trades by Van Wagenen were far fewer than free agent signings, we have to measure each of these much heavier. Many of the bad trades involved prospects Mets fans wish had stayed with the franchise. It will take another decade to truly now how bad some of them were.
We still have some free agent signings to consider. And in my opinion, this was where Van Wagenen was at his weakest.