Brodie Van Wagenen has the Mets in the hunt for a genuine major league catcher, a sore spot for so many years. No holds barred – get him!
J.T. Realmuto is the real thing, a living and breathing catcher the Mets have lacked since the days of Gary Carter. Brodie Van Wagen, the Mets newly crowned General Manager, has recognized the need and, seemingly is taking no prisoners in his quest to manufacture a trade with the Florida Marlins, and their last vestige of tradeable talent.
Notwithstanding the fact that numerous teams are in on Realmuto (even the Yankees have purportedly been involved in a straight-up deal with Gary Sanchez as the bait), the Mets should be ready to empty the barn for the services of this young man.
It all begins up the middle, doesn’t it? And by definition, “up the middle” means the catcher position first, shortstop and second base, and finally your center fielder. Travis d’Arnaud (bless his heart) was crowned as the Queen’s jewel in the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays following Dickey’s Cy Young season. But as we know now, the key player in the deal coming to the Mets was Noah Syndergaard, not d’Arnaud.
Since then, we’ll assume d’Arnaud has given his all but has ended up on the DL more often than not, and has fallen far short of expectations regarding his abilities to handle a bat or his pitching staff. So be it. It’s time for the Mets to move on, and the new sheriff knows that better than anyone.
J.T. Realmuto will not come cheap. Names being bandied about include the core of the Mets young team. Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Amed Rosario are all in the conversation. To be sure, Van Wagenen will not give up all three, but at least one and possibly two will need to be sacrificed at the altar if the Marlins will seriously engage the Mets in a deal.
In terms of potential, that ugly word in baseball, Rosario would appear to be the easiest to give up. He will never be Francisco Lindor, and it will take him the next five years to equal Lindor’s home run total of 40 last season. But Rosario does occupy one of those valued positions “up the middle” we talked about, making him harder, though not impossible, to replace.
We pretty much know what Michael Conforto is about, and he is what I would term, a nice player. Not a great one, but a good one. Tough to give up, but nothing to lose sleep over considering the return. Ditto Nimmo, who unless Tim Tebow miraculously earns a spot on the Mets, is destined to be one of the most popular players to ever wear a Mets uniform.
There is no “farm”, so the Mets have no traction there forcing them to deal from their 25-man roster for their catcher for the next ten years, J.T. Realmuto. There’s no one after Realmuto unless the Mets want to be bottom-feeders like the old days in the free agent market while hoping in vain that Travis d’Arnaud can “find himself”.
Brodie Wan Wagenen heads to the Mandalay Casino and Resort hotel in Las Vegas as early as tomorrow for the annual MLB Winter Meetings. He’ll be center stage with a spotlight following him after the tagged “blockbuster” deal he pulled off with the Seattle Mariners, bringing Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to Citi Field.
The deal for Realmuto is the one Brodie wants to bring home from there for fans of the Mets, as it will solidify his place in New York Mets lore as the GM with the “oomph” and energy to make the team better.
In no way does it sound like Brodie Van Wagenen shrinks from that challenge.
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