Flushing, NY: This is another ballgame when the trade deadline approaches. Days before the July 31 deadline and the Mets were first to make a major splash late Sunday afternoon, Moments after their fourth straight win Sunday,, 8-7 over the Pittsburgh Pirates, they gained another pitcher.
They did not say goodbye to Jason Vargas. He was the winning pitcher and subject to trade speculation along with Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard.
Instead, a lefthander, Marcus Stroman is coming to the Mets for two prospects. And the Mets gave away two prospects, Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods, They are top draft picks of the Mets and were projected to be a part of the Mets future.
So Jason Vargas remains in New York for the moment. The same can be said about Edwin Diaz who notched his 23rd save, though Jose Osuna belted a two-run home run off Diaz in the 9th inning that made the outcome interesting.
The Mets concluded a 5-1 homestand Sunday after sweeping three games from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The win went to Jason Vargas and similar to Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler this week there is that speculation with the trade deadline a few days away.
The move for Srroman caught everyone off guard, though the Mets have been in discussion with numerous teams about dealing Wheeler or Jason Vargas, And after their latest win over the Pirates Sunday, the Mets fourth straight, speculation remained as to where the Mets stood before the deadline.
And this was the first time the Mets have won four straight games with their starter receiving the win in each game since early September of 2017.
Jason Vargas, Sunday afternoon was not as sharp as he was Tuesday evening against the Padres. Then, he tossed six scoreless innings and allowed one hit. The change up was not as effective, though Vargas earned his third straight win in the Mets 8-7 win. Vargas got the early run support with a Mets six- run first inning.
Vargas is not concerned about the trade rumors. This is the time of year when you name is the subject of trade talk. Sunday he went out, not as effective as he was against the Padres, but got the support of a sx run first inning.
“Keeps your mind on the strike zone,” he said about the run support. “ I don’t think that there has been a whole lot of speculation in my way. I think maybe if there was, there would probably be more thought.”
So do the Mets trade one of their pitching commodities, and do they do this with the way the rotation has stepped up since the All-Star break? Those questions have been asked to the manager Mickey Callaway.
It’s all a rumor and guessing game at this point.
And there is no denying, even with this early comeback after the break, the Mets have a lot of work to do and bypass teams for the second NL wildcard. As they departed for Chicago and Pittsburgh for six games ,with the under .500 White Sox and Pirates , the Mets are six games off from that wildcard.
Pitching wins games. This week the Mets got that. So why break up a nucleus that has come together, perhaps a little late, though with 57 games remaining and teams on the schedule that can be beat, you can’t rule out getting back into the hunt.
With Stroman, 28 years old, 6-11 with a 2.96 ERA, the Mets are obviously taking a chance. They get a local kid and also have some insurance for the rotation if Wheeler or a Vargas are on the move.
The GM has once again pulled the trigger and dealing away more prospects from a Mets system that is lacking. Kay was supposedly that touted lefthander that was going to eventually get called up when rosters expand in September.
Again, the probability factor of a postseason in October for the Mets all depends on getting back to .500. They need to build a nice winning streak, win series, and of course need help for teams to lose that are in front.
Logic said at this point that the Mets would keep the roster intact. Instead with this trade for Stroman, perhaps the philosophy has changed and there is a different change of thought as to what direction they take.
The manager has confidence with his GM, Brodie Van Wagenenw
“Every manager wants to keep their team together,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “Brodie knows we can win now. There’s a reality.”
From that response in his postgame meeting with the media, there was no clear answer. But now we know the Mets and their GM are dealing before the deadline.
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