Mets Monday Morning GM: The real magic David Stearns can perform will come at a cost

The Mets will first need to fail for David Stearns to perform the best part of his act.
Jul 13, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a New York Mets hat and glove in the dugout
Jul 13, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a New York Mets hat and glove in the dugout / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

If we want to see the best of what David Stearns can do for the New York Mets, it’s going to come at a cost. Anyone can sign the best free agents. It takes a young baseball genius more than infinite wealth to be viewed successfully.

To see what made Stearns such a success with the Milwaukee Brewers, we’ll first need to accept the Mets will undergo a downswing. With a heavy heart, we can admit the 2024 season is the year to make it happen.

David Stearns built the Brewers with fantastic trades for prospects and can do it with the Mets in 2024

The Mets can go in only two satisfying directions. One is for them to surpass expectations and actually be a good baseball team in 2024. The other is for naysayers to get their way and the Mets are a complete failure. Anything in between feels a bit wasteful. Being too good to sell at the trade deadline but not good enough where they have reasonable expectations of winning a championship is the worst place to be.

Set up well to be this summer’s biggest sellers at the trade deadline, Stearns’ ability to somehow win trades of all kinds will finally have its chance to showcase itself. The Mets made only one trade of significance this winter when they acquired Adrian Houser and Tyrone Taylor from the Brewers for Coleman Crow. A satisfying move taking advantage of Milwaukee’s desire to shed some payroll, trades like these are just a preview of what Stearns can muster up later this year.

Mets fans have, for the most part, bought into the plan Stearns has for this team. Only those who don’t believe in the players on this roster remain reluctant. Both sides make sense. The Mets passed on some obvious upgrades (or they passed on the Mets). The number of wild cards on the roster is enough to create a full deck.

Once the final checks are delivered to Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, the payroll opens up again in a big way. The Mets are fully expected to target big free agents next offseason. Will it happen with an even more upgraded farm system following a trade deadline selloff? 

Logically, it’s best for the team to be bad enough to further stockpile the farm. Understandably, no one is going to follow the Mets in 2024 rooting for the team to lose.