After hiring Brodie Van Wagenen as their new general manager, the Mets have been the story of the offseason. They’ve been in on practically every player on the trade market, and have been extremely aggressive. They have ways to go before they’re a playoff contender, but they could be with offensive upgrades.
Current State: Playoff Contender
Mets Hire Brodie Van Wagenen as GM
In a shocking development, the Mets hired general manager Brodie Van Wagenen to be their new general manager. Van Wagenen, 44, has no prior experience in an MLB front office. He previously worked as an agent at Creative Artists Agency, so he’s making a strange transition from the guy vouching deals to the guy making deals. He is the former agent for several Mets players, such as Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaad, Jason Vargas, and Todd Frazier. The Mets are at a critical stage in their franchise, and many including myself believe that they should entertain offers for deGrom and Syndergaad to boost their farm system and to start a rebuilding phase. That may have been the choice under runner up Chaim Bloom, who has a much better resume than Van Wagenen. Van Wagenen, meanwhile, declared the Mets “will win now and in the future”. That’s a great proclamation, but it’s more of a sign that the Mets are going to be staying in the middle, making undisciplined deals to improve their team that is currently in bad shape. The Mets were so close to getting it right in Bloom, but they may have made a colossal mistake hiring Van Wagenen.
Mets Acquire 2B Robinson Cano and RP Edwin Diaz In Exchange For OF Jared Kelenic, SP Justin Dunn, OF Jay Bruce, RP Anthony Swarzak, RP Gerson Bautista
In an absolute blockbuster, the Mets have acquire second baseman Robinson Cano and reliever Edwin Diaz in exchange for outfield prospect Jared Kelenic, pitching prospects Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista, outfielder Jay Bruce, and reliever Anthony Swarzak. Cano, 36, was suspended for violating MLB’s performing enchaining drug policy. In 80 games last season, he had an .845 OPS and a 3.2 WAR. That’s actually a very impressive season, as he would have been on pace for a 6 WAR had he played a full season. Still, he’s 36, and the Mets are on the hook for $100 million of his salary over the remaining five years of his contract. If he begins to regress due to age, New York will be stuck paying an unproductive player $20 million, a risk this team can’t afford to take, especially with Jeff McNeil already capable of handling everyday duties at second base. Diaz, 24, is the real prize of this trade. He was dominant last season, with a 1.96 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and a 1.61 FIP. His 15.2 K/9 and his 2.1 BB/9 are an outstanding combination for a reliever, and there’s no doubt he was the league’s best reliever this past season. Still, he has only one year proven, and while he comes at a cheap price now, his arbitration price will skyrocket. Therefore, the Mets won’t be getting enough surplus value from Diaz to makeup for the negative value they’ll get from Cano. The main issue with this trade is also parting away with two key prospects in a thin farm system. Kelenic was the 6th overall pick in the 2018 draft and is a can’t miss prospect who may be a star in short term notice. Meanwhile, Dunn is a near MLB ready pitching prospect who should be a solid middle of the rotation starter. Bautista should fill in as a solid reliever, so that’s three potential impact major leaguers, including a potential superstar in Kelenic that they parted with. Getting rid of Bruce and Swarzak clears up some salary, but the Mets are still making too huge of commitment financially and with the prospects they are giving up. They are paying the price for a prime Cano and the dominant Diaz from last season, and the chance they receive that is extremely unlikely. This could turn into a disaster and a huge mistake by Van Wagenen.
Mets Sign RP Jeurys Familia
The Mets have brought back reliever Jeurys Familia, signing him to a three year deal worth $30 million. Familia, was traded from the Mets to the A’s in mid-July last season. Between those two teams, he posted a 3.13 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and a 2.65 FIP. Still, there were a couple of red flags from this past season. His ground ball rate went down by a huge amount, going from 60.3% to 46.3%. Considering he’s your typical sinker ball power pitcher, that’s concerning. However, he struck out batters at a solid rate (10.4 K/9) and his walks were down from the year before (5.5 BB/9 to 3.5 BB/9). As long as he continues to show more consistent command and his ground ball rates go slightly up, than this a solid move. However, Familia isn’t exactly consistent, and the Mets may have been better off signing someone more reliable such as David Robertson. This isn’t a bad deal by any means, but it’s the type of deal where the Mets are getting market value at the best and likely won’t receive any excess value from this contract.
Mets Sign C Wilson Ramos
To fill a hole at catcher, the Mets have signed Wilson Ramos to a two year, $19 million contract. Ramos, 31, had a terrific season between the Rays and Phillies last year. He had a .845 OPS last year, outstanding for a catcher, and had a 2.7 WAR. He’s an average defender behind the plate, with negative 5 defensive runs saved and 0.3 framing runs last season. Therefore, his value comes from his bat, and he’s easily one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. He’s still by no means a defensive liability, and he does have a reputation for working well with young pitchers, which can be seen with his time as a Ray. He’s one of the game’s best catchers, and to get him at just under $10 million per year for the next two seasons, especially with catchers in high demand, is incredible. Ramos isn’t the most reliable catcher due to his injury issues, but if he’s healthy, than the Mets may have made one of the best moves of the offseason.
*Will Be Updated With Every Move The Mets Make