Last off-season, Mets fans witnessed their team being extraordinarily busy between trades and free agent signings. Brodie Van Wagenen was hired as their general manager after being the co-head of the CAA (Creative Artists Agency) sports’ division.
He made a BOOM from the beginning, trading away top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn for Robinson Canó and Edwin Diaz in a seven-player swap. The main piece of this trade was Diaz who considered the top closer in the MLB during this time, but that changed drastically. Diaz ended the year with a 5.59 ERA and only had 26 saves, more than half of what he had the year before.
Brodie also signed Jed Lowrie and Jeurys Familia, who were both busts. The only decent moves he made were signing catcher Wilson Ramos and pitcher Justin Wilson. He also made one solid trade for J.D. Davis.
What has BVW done since, to address the Mets’ needs?
On July 28, the Mets traded for SP Marcus Stroman. This put every baseball fan in confusion because the Mets were absolutely stacked in pitching, leading the way was Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Stroman ultimately was the replacement for Zack Wheeler, who ended up leaving the Mets for the Phillies this past week, on a 5-year, $118 million deal. The Stroman trade was the most the Mets have done since last off-season.
The Mets also had a need at center field. They (somewhat) addressed the CF issue by recently trading for Jake Marisnick from the Houston Astros; but he has an extremely weak bat that may not make up for his excellent fielding skills.
The Mets also recently bought low on free-agent, veteran SP’s Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello this week to one year deals, hopefully looking to rejuvenate their previous successes after a harsh 2019 for both guys. The Mets will look to replace the fifth starter spot – that opened after Wheeler’s departure – with one of the two.
Most importantly, the Mets still have a massive need for another few bullpen guys, and BVW seems as if the Mets are not looking to target a big name to support their terrible unit; which is very discouraging.
The Mets addressed their needs slightly, but every team in the NL East is continuously getting better and better. The Braves signed Cole Hammels and Will Smith, the Phillies signed Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius, the Nationals retained World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, and even the Marlins claimed slugger Jesus Aguilar and Jonathan Villar.
Not to mention teams are making huge moves around the league, most notably the Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon deals.
The Mets are not a playoff contender within their own division, with the Nationals and Braves easily overpowering them. They may need to make a trade, since their stubborn owners will not spend money to exceed the threshold in free agency.
As mentioned before, the weakest part of the team is the bullpen by far. Seth Lugo is an amazing relief pitcher, but one man can only do so much. The best free agent relief pitcher that is an option is Dellin Betances with a low-risk, high-reward type of deal, but reports state that talks are practically dead.
Josh Hader from the Brewers is a good option, but the Mets have to be cautious about what they give up for a top relief pitcher. Last time they did that it blew up in their face (Edwin Diaz). There are still options on the free agent front, including Daniel Hudson and Will Harris. The Mets have serious bullpen work to be done if they want to compete in the NL East.
The bullpen is the only significant need they still have, but a hitting center fielder would not hurt. Starling Marte has been the center of Mets rumors this offseason.
At the Winter Meetings, rumors started that the Mets were willing to trade Brandon Nimmo. Getting rid of Brandon Nimmo would be good for the Mets, in my opinion. He is a good player don’t get me wrong, but he has injury issues and it would open up a daily spot for rising star J.D. Davis.
I would not trade Marte for Nimmo, however. Nimmo is still 26 and has potential, Marte is 31 and might have already peaked. If the Mets trade for Marte, the package should be centered around Dominic Smith or Andres Gimenez (Mets top prospect who is blocked off by Amed Rosario). There are rumors about Carlos Correa as well, but that would not benefit the Mets in any way.
The Mets have to do something to compete in the tight division, but they have to be smart in the ways they improve.
(P/C: Elite Sports NY)