New York Dail;y News Back Page May 19, 2018

The Mets Are (Reluctantly) Facing Franchise Changing Decisions

How bold are the New York Mets? Change that, since they haven’t been bold in decades, how bold can the Mets be in saving, not this season, but the next four or five? Think that’s extreme, it’s not, and what follows will (hopefully) convince Mets fans it’s reality.

The feature image for this column is bound to cause some flak among Mets fans. But, the New York Mets are going nowhere this season. Hope is one thing, and every fan of the team they support should have it, but folly is quite another thing. Check the National League Wild Card standings for a dose of realism in which there are nine teams counting the Division leaders ahead of the Mets.

The faithful will say, oh, but they’re only three games out of the race for one of the two Wild Card spots. And I will say show me the seven teams they can climb over in the next 120 games of the season with the roster they have and no one to create a spark with a call-up from their minor league system.

This clip is as close as I can get to the message the Mets need to receive:

The unfortunate truth is the Mets season is over, and a steady rebuilding (sorry for the swear word) process needs to begin pronto, or at least at the trade deadline. Unless, of course, the Mets are satisfied with a .500 season and the usual dose of fans streaming into Citi Field to pay the bills.

Sandy Alderson did a credible job over the winter bringing in Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce. And Mickey Callaway did an excellent job of convincing Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo they can have long and lucrative careers as bullpen artists.

But Todd Frazier is on the DL and is not producing even when he is playing, and Bruce is doing a repeat of last year, almost like he’s trying (again) to be dealt to a pennant contending team in July. Juan Lagares goes down and he is lost for the season with, of all things, a thumb injury. Adrian Gonzalez continues to show he left his best games in Arizona and Jason Vargas, well, you can fill in the blanks on that one.

The call coming in the newspaper headlines from everywhere today following the school shootings in Texas is, Do Something! Same applies to the Mets.

Dealing Frazier and Bruce is a foregone conclusion at this point if only to provide the stingy Mets with a means to regain some of the money thrown down the drain. But this goes far beyond that, and the willingness of a franchise to step up and, in the words of Robert Frost, take the road less traveled.

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
Photo Credit: USNews-Getty-FTR

Trade Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard – or trade them both. The idea of trading Syndergaard is especially interesting given the comments (in a rare moment of Colbert’s Truthiness) of Dave Eiland, the Mets pitching coach. With no spin, here’s what Eiland said:

“He hasn’t pitched long enough. He’s yet to do a whole lot. I didn’t say he hasn’t done anything. I said he hasn’t done a whole lot. Why? Because he hasn’t been here that long,” Eiland said. “He’s 25 years old.”Kristie Ackert, New York Daily News

But then, somebody on the Mets put a bug in Eiland’s ear telling him to back off from telling the truth. So we get, “Noah and I have talked. We have had a lot of conversation, not just about my quotes. I was defending him actually,” Eiland said. “If he doesn’t go seven with one run or less, everybody is criticizing him, because he is supposed to be dominant. He’s human.”

Damn right he’s human, and what’s more, he’s not Thor, at least not yet. Despite all the hype, much like we saw with Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard has not been all he’s cracked up to be. He’s not Justin Verlander, Jake Arietta, Corey Kluber, and others giving you seven strong innings start after start after start, which by the way is the definition of an Ace.

Negating all of that, Syndergaard has trade value that reaches into space, and the Mets could nab a haul of young talent from a team of their choice, and the one that is best capable of filling their immediate needs heading into next season. And the same thing is correct of Jacob deGrom.

Heady stuff, huh? Not so much though when you consider the Mets can be a .500 team with this pair of All-Stars and nothing behind them or the team can part with them restocking their farm system with players who Sandy Alderson must ensure are only a year or two away from the big leagues.

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets believe their fans will desert them if the term “rebuilding” is ever attached to them. But Yankees be damned, this is what the Mets need to be at this moment in time.

Which brings up another salient point. If the Mets decide to trade and build, who better to do it with than the Yankees, a team loaded with prospects and one the Mets only play for a handful of games during the season. Sure, the idea of deGrom and/or Syndergaard in pinstripes is heresy, but what where else is the talent coming from?

The Braves and Phillies are stocked with surplus talent, but they are in the same division as the Mets, so what sense does dealing with them make?

Boldness is the answer. Wipe out the past and concentrate on the future. The Mets and their fans can still hate the Yankees after they’ve stolen Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams, Billy McKinney, Clint Frazier…and the list goes on. But imagine the Mets with these players for the next ten years.

A couple of weeks ago, I called for a revolution from Mets fans, but that didn’t seem to work. I can’t stop trying, though. This team and this franchise should be better than they are. An opportunity to revitalize the team is at hand if only Alderson and the Wilpon brothers choose to act.

For more commentary on the Mets, visit my Home Page

Reflections On Baseball

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4 comments

  1. Nice piece of fan fiction. The Mets have never had any success trading star pitchers, i.e. Seaver, Cone, Tug McGraw. The problem then become replacing them and that’s difficult. That said DeGrom would be the likely candidate due to being older and one less yr control. I still dn’t line it though!

    1. Fair enough, Eric. It’s just that I don’t see them doing anything other than finishing at .500 with the team they have now. Worse, there’s very little in their system worth talking about. Bold is the keyword. No one wants to see deGrom or Syndergaard leave. But it’s like the old adage about money, sometimes you have to spend it to make it. And thanks for the read.

  2. It’s ridiculous to give up now on the season, trade everyone and forfeit the next several years because of a bad stretch of games in May. We’ve got 75% of the season left. Talk about overreaction…or click-bait.

    1. Fair point, Tim. But when you think about it, July is just around the corner, and the time to play with ideas is now, not then. A quick point…I hate to see anything I write attached to the term click-bait. The body fully supports the title, which is usually where the problem with click-baiting lies. And yes, the “overreaction” was intentional. And that’s only because I’ve grown weary watching the Mets underreact (how long did it take them to find a real catcher?). Thanks for the read.

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