Mets At The Deadline: Stealth, Precision, And A Stroke Of Genius

Mets celebrate following win against the Pirates 7/30/2019 (Photo: SNY-TV)

The New York Mets emerge from the 2019 Trade Deadline drama as clear winners. From the team’s clubhouse, comes a sigh of relief and resolve…

From the Mets clubhouse in Chicago, a collective sigh of relief can be heard at 4:01 p.m. EST today when the bell sounded concluding this year’s edition of baseball’s version of Sudden Death in football – that dastardly thing called the Trade Deadline.

The sum of all fear and parts adds Marcus Stroman and subtracts two highly touted (but unproven) pitching prospects from the Mets farm system. The first round of feedback from those “in the know” give Brodie Van Wagenen an “A” for effort and restraint. Amen.

Tonight, following a robust “see, I told ya” start by Noah Syndergaard and another win by the rejuvenated Mets on Tuesday, Jacob deGrom takes the hill against the White Sox ready to put a stamp of closure that ends the unease of the past two weeks. It can’t happen any sooner as this generic quote indicates:

Mets: Bringing It All Back Home

“Obviously, everyone to varying degrees follows what’s going on or hears the different rumors or the whispers or whatever. We’re human beings. Everything leaks in a little bit and affects guys in different ways. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative.”Brendan Kuty | NJ Advance Media for
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) is greeted in the dugout by teammates after coming out of the game against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 2, 2019 Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

That was the manager of the New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, speaking. But the same feeling is felt across the breadth of clubhouses in major league baseball.

Zack Wheeler, who didn’t particularly want to leave the Mets, still has a locker with the team for at least the next two months, and possibly beyond. The can gets kicked down the road. But, so what. Wheeler will make eight or nine more starts for the Mets – not someone else.

Edwin Diaz, who is still trying to squint beneath the bright lights of New York, remains Mickey Callaway‘s go-to guy when a save is needed, even while knowing his name was bandied about as “spoiled goods” by other teams as the Mets tried to unload him. All can be forgiven. All can be forgotten. At least for now.

Noah Syndergaard, who could spin a no-hitter tomorrow if you asked him to, took his future into his hands with two successive starts, essentially telling the Mets, “Go ahead, I dare you to trade me.”

Brodie Van Wagenen did not take the bait, and the Mets are better for it. As things played out, Van Wagenen didn’t bite at anyone’s bait. Instead, he struck with stealth and precision when no one was looking, hijacking the Yankees and other teams in pursuit of Marcus Stroman.

How stealthily did Van Wagenen operate in executing the Stroman trade? Try a Google search on “mets marcus stroman” and you’ll see. Page after page and not one story that’s older than three days. A stroke of genius, Brodie wins the day.

Van Wagenen: Atonement Comes In Many Forms

Is it enough to atone for all of Van Wagenen’s sins? Hardly. Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie remind of what went wrong. But much like the tone of the Mets in the second half of the season, it is a new day in which you can now argue convincingly that deGrom, Syndergaard, and Stroman form one of the most potent one to three punches in the league.

Add Steven Matz who is now reunited with his Long Island friend and competitor, Marcus Stroman. Test the waters with a qualifying offer to Zack Wheeler as he enters free agency in November. Or not. The point is the Mets now have wiggle room, as well as a starting rotation equal to any in the N.L. East.

Marcus Stroman is scheduled to take the ball over the weekend to make his first start as a Met in Pittsburgh. Count on Stroman to have a loud presence. Under control, Stroman will add an element of “oomph” to an otherwise staid Mets team.

Visions of sugarplums can dance in the heads of Mets fans if Stroman can, for instance, go 7-2 in his remaining starts this season. Couple that with a Mets lineup of late that can score runs, together with a less-porous defense – and hey – ya never know.

Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.

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