A few days on the job and GM Brodie Van Wagenen is making progress for the Mets. If you count exploring roster moves for the off season as progress, then that’s a start. You should realize this is a process and no definitive answers will come as the GM meetings conclude in Carlsbad, California.
This is not to say the Mets will be inactive. There is a need to revamp the bullpen. There are indications the Mets will pursue another right handed bat for the outfield. They will look at possible ways to improve behind the plate and may move Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki or both.
Manny Machado and Bryce Harper? Chances are the Mets will not have either player on their 25-man roster, come opening day, but this rookie GM, who is now on the other side of the table, does know something about a player contract. With the hiring of Van Wagenen, comes a sense of cautious optimism that the Mets will spend.
Not having Machado or Harper doesn’t preclude the Mets from adding another piece or two via a trade or free agency. According to a high ranking NL source, the Mets will make some moves. For who they will acquire, and when those moves will be made is yet to be determined.
Brodie Van Wagenen will be back at Citi Field on Friday morning. The next order of business is meeting with manager Mickey Callaway. The coaching staff vacancies, initiated by Van Wagenen’s firing of hitting coach Pat Roessler, will be filled.
The next order of business is the Winter Meetings during the week of December 10-14th in Las Vegas. Before that, more exploring and preparing, and perhaps a transaction or two prior to that get together.
So where do the Mets stand. The new GM has talked a good game but he’ll need to be creative. Creativity means looking at possible trades to fill the needs, perhaps with a free agent acquisition or two.
Speculation and rumors, that’s the fun part of baseball’s “Hot Stove” season. It becomes even more interesting for the Mets, who have elected to give this task of getting the team back to contention, to someone who has no front office experience.
Thursday afternoon, Van Wagenen gave a vote of confidence to D’Arnaud and Plawecki, but, as mentioned above, there was that open door to exploring other avenues. Spend or trade? That’s the speculation with viable names available at the catching position. There is a need because the Mets have not had a healthy, consistent, and productive hitter in that spot that has been a thorn in their side for the past few seasons.
More than one source contacted by NYsportsday.com did indicate that the Mets are exploring Andrew Miller. The need for an improved bullpen is apparent and Miller is being highly sought after by other teams. There is some hesitancy to sign Miller because he’s dealt with knee problems that limited him to 37 games last season.
Miller could be cost effective compared to Craig Kimbrel, Zach Britton, Cody Allen and Adam Ottavino, the other big name relievers on the market. A return of Jeurys Familia is highly unlikely but anything is possible.
Miller is a logical fit. He has a track record of success and any team that gets him won’t lose a draft pick because he did not take the Indians’ qualifying offer, but at what cost do you get him, not to mention coming off a season that was cut short.
Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo? Those names have been bandied about and if it means getting that piece or two that will make the team better, then Brodie Van Wagenen will listen. Again, much too early to tell where this is going.
Would BVW be creative enough to land Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto? It would be quite a “feather in his cap.”
Peter Alonso? The Mets top prospect is tearing the cover off the ball in the Arizona Fall League. Van Wagenen said Alonso will get a chance to win the job in spring training.
You have to feel good about the direction that Van Wagenen and the Mets appear to be headed in. it’s all good because there are serious indications the Mets hierarchy has every intention to win in 2019.
We do know the process has started. Van Wagenen said during his introduction last week, he was ready for the challenge. He was going to deliver a winning team to Mets fans and New York.
Remember at this stage it’s about a process.