Brodie Van Wagenen’s last stand as a viable GM is underway. The Gunslinger’s sins of the past are well known. Can he atone for those mistakes…
Brodie Van Wagenen is in the driver’s seat as a seller in the trade market for the New York Mets. His iPhone ringer is never silent as teams continue to call in search of a deal they hope will put them over the top during the second half of the 2019 season.
For Van Wagenen though, it’s not as simple as moving Zack Wheeler, Todd Frazier, Jason Vargas, and more recently, Noah Syndergaard. He could do that with one hand tied behind his back. Communication with the Wilpons is not required. He’s subtracting, not adding.
In all likelihood, the return on all of these players will come in the form of prospects. While that may be the smart play for the Mets, it’s not apt to sit well with fans who learn that Wheeler has been traded for a team’s third, sixth, and twelfth highest prospects, who respectively rate 15, 37, and 66 among MLB’s Prospect Rankings.
Van Wagenen – The Strongarm Negotiator
No, Brodie Van Wagenen needs much more than that to atone for his sins. In short, Van Wagenen needs to strongarm teams he is dealing with. You say you want Wheeler? Fine, he’s yours. But you also need to take Wilson Ramos who my pitchers hate to throw to – and the remaining portion of the $19 million owed to him – plus the $2 million signing bonus I gave to him when I was half asleep. Atonement for Sin #1.
For Syndergaard, I’ll (Van Wagenen) take two of your top prospects instead of the four you are offering. But, you need to take Robinson Cano off my hands, plus 80% of the $64 million left on his contract.
I’ll do you a favor too by not asking for your #3 prospect, second baseman Luis Urias in return. You can hope Cano gets energized by the presence of Manny Machado, and away you go. Atonement for Sin #2.
In short, Brodie Van Wagenen needs to get more creative in future trades by capitalizing on the needs of the teams he is dealing with. How did Gleyber Torres, for instance, wind up a New York Yankee? Brian Cashman had the prize he knew the Cubs were looking for in Aroldis Chapman. In the driver’s seat, Cashman settled for nothing less than Torres. That’s how it’s done.
And don’t forget this. Going back to Wheeler, the Mets still have an opportunity to sign him as a free agent this winter, just as the Yankees did with Chapman. Talk about a coup…
Along the same lines, if the Mets are going to listen to offers for Steven Matz, fine. But why can’t Van Wagenen pair Matz with another Mets eyesore, Jeurys Familia? Think that wouldn’t make Jeff Wilpon blow kisses to Brodie when he saves the team $22 million over the next two seasons? Take both or you take none. Atonement for Sin #3.
Brodie – Atonement Is Within Your Reach
Naysayers will quickly ask – if all these current Mets are moved – who’s gonna pitch and play for the team? I say, who cares? With all the money saved if these deals can be executed, the Mets can dive into the pool of 2020 free agents at will.
Tank the rest of the season (hush) if you have to. Take a top pick in the next year’s amateur draft. At this point, why not?
The most important thing for Van Wagenen is to be transparent with the fans. Let the Mets fans see what the plan is. Explain in detail what you are doing and why you are doing it.
My sense is that Mets fans, along with players like Pete Alonso, Jacob deGrom, and Jeff McNeil do not want a series of ho-hum trades for umpteen prospects who may or may not ever make the majors, let alone have an impact when they join the team.
Undo the mistakes as best Van Wagenen can. And then, go from there…