The doggedness of Brodie Van Wagenen in landing Wilson Ramos when they could have folded after the Realmuto failure signals the Mets are back.
Brodie Van Wagenen, the new General Manager of the New York Mets, does not have a wish list. He has a to-do list, and he is committed to working in the trenches to check every box on that list, one way or another.
It’s no secret the Mets were all-in on a trade for J.T. Realmuto, and that obtaining a major league catcher to replace or force Travis d’Arnaud into a backup role was at the top of Van Wagenen’s list. But given the failures of the previous regime, the Mets had no prospects in their depleted farm system to offer the rebuilding Marlins.
Which meant the Mets had to delve into their major league roster if they were going to be a player among as many as six teams seeking the services of the All-Star catcher from the Marlins.
In turn, this developed into the Mets becoming a player in a mega-deal involving three teams that would have sent Noah Syndergaard to of all places, those damn Yankees. For whatever reason(s), the deal fell through, and Realmuto is still on the block waiting to see where he will play the 2019 season.
In previous years, the Mets organization and then GM, Sandy Alderson, would have folded the tent, told their fans, “Hey, we tried,” and moved on to hype D’Arnaud as the guy who is set to bust out this year – you just wait. Not this year, though.
According to the New York Times, Ramos “is offered a deal for two years with $19 million guaranteed, according to two people familiar with the negotiations who requested anonymity because the contract was pending Ramos’s medical review. After that is complete, the Mets may introduce Ramos, 31, at a news conference later this week.”
A bona fide major league catcher, the report adds that “offense is Ramos’s calling card: He is a career .273 hitter with 109 home runs. He was an All-Star with the Washington Nationals in 2016 and with the Tampa Bay Rays last year, hitting .306 with 15 home runs and 70 R.B.I. in 2018.”
Wilson Ramos, let’s be clear, is not going to make or break the Mets in 2019. Again, there will be no ticker-tape parade down Broadway when the signing of Wilson Ramos is finalized, but once again Van Wagenen has done his due diligence in filling a gaping hole in the Met’s infield – and don’t forget this – getting the go-ahead from the Wilpons to spend the money to sign Ramos.
More moves are on the way, and Mets fans should be starting to get the feeling Yankees fans have had for a decade with Brian Cashman at the helm. Because like Cashman, Van Wagenen “gets it”, and there’s no need to worry.
Because even if it means the moves Brodie makes do not grab the back page of the New York Post, the additions and subtractions on the Mets team are in good hands.
And for that, the team the Mets put on the field in April are guaranteed to be clean of waste and non-production, while also offering some new faces like Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, and now Wilson Ramos for fans to enjoy and become familiar with.
It’s been a long time, too long perhaps, since the Mets organization has been in the game, and not on the outskirts of the game. Brodie Van Wagenen has a long road to travel before his ticket is written to Cooperstown, but he sure is off to a good start.
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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