New York, NY – Not since the Yoenis Cespedes speculation and acquisition has there been so much buzz at Citi Field. Welcome to the Brodie Van Wagenen era of the New York Mets and more to come now that Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz have officially arrived.
And like the trade or not, the Mets are a better team today. Better in the bullpen with a viable and best closer in the game and if Robinson Cano still has some punch left, then losing top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn will not matter at the cost of winning now.
Winning and that’s what Mets fan want. Brodie Van Wagenen is far from done dealing and working hard. He made that commitment to put a winning team on the field in 2019 and next week at the annual baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas there should be more to come.
Yes, the Mets have arrived and have took a page out of the Yankees offseason book. That’s all good and since the Cespedes signing the headlines were never about the Mets in the offseason. So there is little doubt about the energy and enthusiasm that the new GM has delivered.
Though still hovering over the head of every Mets fan is that lingering doubt and skepticism. Failure and moves that went bad and obvious that Cespedes contract is one of doubt that got one good year in 2015. And there are more bad adventures of a deal that went bad at second base that never go away with Roberto Alomar and a ton of others.
However, Robinson Cano is Hall of Fame bound with or without that 80-game steroid suspension of last season, and that stigma will always be with him. Now, Cano is here to win with the Mets. The next five years of a 36-year old Robinson Cano does provides more leverage of that Brodie Van Wagenen commitment to also win this year and beyond.
The GM is persistent. And it seems this will continue before the first pitch of Opening day in late March. COO Jeff Wilpon was quoted, as he did Tuesday at Citi Field, in saying Brodie Van Wagenen has that energy and persistence. And this is becoming obvious about a GM that is making a quick impression.
Again, agree or not with dealing those limited prospects, the Mets have payroll flexibility and that sense to spend is more of an indication.
“We kept staying on it, we kept trying to be aggressive with it and ultimately found a deal structure that we could get both players,” Van Wagenen said.
=In essence, Edwin Diaz was the key player that Brodie wanted. The Mets have their closer and under control without parting with payroll. This provides leverage to spend and get the other arm to set up Diaz who has an unhittable slider and nasty fastball.
And there will be more to come. Names will float around. Untouchables are not a part of this roster to improve a product in a NL East division that got more interesting with the Washington Nationals acquisition of left-hander Patrick Corbin.
Already the Noah Syndergaard rumors have come and gone and that was established. And it will take a blowout package of a deal for the Mets to trade away a core of their strength in the pitching rotation.
So you ask, what is next and what will come? And this will be a Mets franchise that will be an attention grabber over the slots and tables next week in Las Vegas. The catching position, more for the bullpen, that obvious need for another right hand bat in the lineup and with the ability to spend.
Let’s not forget, as every Mets fan knows, this is Wilpon money. There has never been enough to go around or the proper player to be had. But this seems to be different. As one high ranking NL executive said, “Brodie did not take this job to lose and there is more to come.”
Heard around is inquiries about left-hander Gio Gonzalez. However, that would only occur if Noah Syndergaard or another core of that rotation is dealt for that catcher and some prospects to fill a void the Mets need.
Gonzalez was quoted this past season as saying, “Citi Field is his favorite ballpark.” That remained among the previous regime and Gonzalez, with roots in New York, could be off the radar. The 33-year old left-hander had an off year with the Nationals and later with the Brewers with a combined 4.21 ERA, 10-11 in 32 games pitched.
More likely, the next moves will be the bullpen. And then that search to acquire the proper catcher that will add some offense to a spot in the Mets lineup that has been missing the past few years.
You know the Names: Zach Britton, David Robertson, Andrew Miller, Joe Kelly, Adam Ottavino as options for the bullpen. Wilson Ramos, Martin Maldonado, and longshot J. T. Realmuto are an upgrade over Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki behind the plate.
Again, anything is possible and this is what makes Brodie Van Wagenen more interesting and what could be ahead for the Mets. Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, don’t be insane. Then again, last week Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Mets with prospects along with Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak to the Mariners was all rumor.
Point is, this is the beginning of more to come. The Mets are a better team and Brodie Van Wagenen arrived to assure that winning is the only thing.
Comment: Ring786@aol.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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