Brodie Van Wagenen has done it. The New York Mets are relevant in baseball again. After the splash though, what’s next?
Brodie Van Wagenen stripped the gun from his competitor in the Pacific Northwest. In doing so, he gave Jerry Dipoto, GM of the Seattle Mariners, a run for his money as a GM not afraid to pull the trigger on a major trade.
The lawyers are still huddling about the exchange of money relating to what remains on Robinson Cano‘s contract, reportedly about $120 million, and Major League Baseball has to put their two cents in, but the deal is all but consummated.
For Mets fans, the deal involving former first-round draft prospects, the dumping on Jeff McNeil, who only a week ago was consecrated as the Mets second basemen by Van Wagenen, and taking on the baggage Cano carries, is not a no-brainer.
Supporters of the trade point mainly to the addition of Edwin Diaz, who steps into the role of the Mets closer at the age of 24 with four years of team control before reaching free agent status.
The only relevant question, though, is this. Regardless of which side a fan falls on, will this deal improve the Mets win total by fifteen games? Because that number represents a minimum goal if the team is going to seriously compete with the Phillies, Braves, and Nationals in the NL East.
The drumbeat suggests the answer is no, meaning Brodie Van Wagenen’s work has just begun, and soon the Mets cameo appearance on the back page of the New York Post will merely be a memory.
The Mets still need a major league catcher not named Travis d’Arnaud, multiple additions in the bullpen, and a right-handed power bat to replace Yoenis Cespedes, until the Prima Donna pronounces himself fit to play.
Brodie Van Wagenen also needs to reach a final decision on trading Noah Syndergaard. If it’s no, fine, but put the gun back in your holster and stop the incessant nonsense talk.
And finally, if not already provided, Van Wagenen must have a target payroll number to work with from Fred Wilpon. Presently, the Mets have around $120 million committed after non-tendering Wilmer Flores and his $9 million (which is another bone of contention facing Van Wagenen from Mets fans). Brodie has to insist on this to complete the Mets roster; he can’t be playing a guessing game.
So, with the call to “Do Something” resolved, Brodie Van Wagenen has a maximum of two seasons for the Mets to realize the value of Cano before he becomes an albatross for the organization at ages 38-40.
The Mets have nothing of value to offer any team via a trade, beyond their starters. The heavy lifting must come from dollars spent on free agents, and before the new sheriff in town empties the bullets in his gun, becoming a caricature of himself as a gunslinger.
Brodie Van Wagenen has etched his mark in Mets lore. Now it’s time for him to finish the job.
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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Take This Quiz:
When do you think Robbie Cano will pull up stakes from wherever he is to don a Mets cap for the press conference where he will tell the masses how grateful he is to be a New York Met, alongside Brodie and Fred?
My bet says no earlier than Thursday, unless the Mets provide him with some “traveling money”.