What are the Mets and Brodie Van Wagenen up to? Is the eerie quiet a buildup to something big – or does indecision once again stymie them…
The Mets will not remind you that today is the first anniversary of the trade that will live in infamy.
Yes, it was a year ago today when Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz were shipped to the Mets in exchange for two top pitching prospects, thereby seizing the back pages of the New York Post.
Never to be considered one of Brodie Van Wagenen’s most exceptional days, is it possible he’s cooking up another transaction to interrupt the quiet veneer in Metland today?
Many would say, “Dear God, I hope he isn’t” after last year’s fiasco. Or, they would say it’s probably more like Van Wagenen and his staff are frozen in time with no idea as to what they should do.
Mets: The race is on?
Typically, after Turkey Day is when the offseason kicks into full gear, and things get turbo-charged at the Winter Meetings, scheduled this year in San Diego beginning Saturday, December 7.
But something is odd when the news of the day out of Mets camp is there’s a chance Tony DiFrancesco will join the Mets as their first base coach. DiFrancesco is currently employed as the manager of the Mets Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse.
And yes, there was also the story about the Mets’ interest in trading for Josh Hader, the Brewer’s flame-throwing closer.
Mike Puma of the New York Post thought the rumor was worthy enough to devote a column, taking the time to work out the details of trade for Van Wagenen.
To no one’s wonder, Josh Hader’s availability dominated most team websites after Milwaukee put the word out they were listening to offers.
Which should at least pause as to ask why, with four years of team control, the Brewers would part with Hader? What do they know that no one else does?
Presumably, Carlos Beltran, though he’s been quieter than a dormouse since his appointment, is still the manager of the Mets.
Perhaps, Beltran is “hitting the books,” and is in the process of digesting the volumes of data the Mets analytics people have thrust his way to justify their existence.
Or maybe, he’s quietly spending the last few days with his family, knowing that when the storm hits, he needs to be all in.
Meanwhile, there’s no official word from the team yet, but it appears the Mets are all but out of the Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg sweepstakes.
Strasburg looks likely to re-up with the Nationals, and Cole is expected to be heading West, probably to the Angels.
That is unless Hal Steinbrenner hears his father banging loudly on the walls of his coffin. Jon Heyman reports the Yankees are meeting with Cole today and Strasburg tomorrow.
Shake The Tree
Shake the tree; there must be something in there.
Surely, there has to be some low-hanging fruit for the Mets to pluck off the free-agent market, perhaps a reliever or two to sign to a minor league deal, if only to hear a beep on the life-support machinery.
Or, maybe not. In theory, the Mets only need one or two pieces to begin the 2020 season.
They probably need a starting pitcher to replace the departing Zack Wheeler, a defensive whiz who can handle a bat in centerfield, and a couple of decent relievers if indeed Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman is moved to the rotation.
Beyond that, the team that finished the second half in promising fashion is set to go.
If shaking the tree is not going to deposit Gerrit Cole on the Mets lap, then why not concentrate on filling in the small pieces for now?
The Mets, playing in the National League East, which is by far the best and most competitive division in the majors have a mountain to climb. We will know soon enough, and certainly by the July trade deadline, what their needs are.
Team-building in the offseason is overrated
We tend to look at the offseason, the so-called Hot Stove league, as “it” as far as team-building goes.
So much of the offseason is filled with empty air, mainly because we are starved from the sport we love.
We scour the MLB Trade Rumors page, consuming what they feed us, forgetting yesterday’s rumor tomorrow because there’s another one on the way.
The Mets are decidedly quiet, and there’s a good chance that disappoints many of their fans. They’re probably not alone as the same phenomena exist in countless other major league cities on December 3, 2019.
They’ll figure most of it out, but not everything before Spring Training opens in 70 days. Get your clock countdown here.