For Sandy Alderson, the waters of the 2017 Trade Deadline were tricky to navigate. While only he knows the true intentions of the organization and what direction they want to go, it was expected by many that the Mets would sell at the deadline. Well, the Mets did sell. They shopped first baseman Lucas Duda and relief pitcher Addison Reed. While they both performed for the Mets in their careers, it simply made sense to move them. They were able to gain assets on contracts that were due to expire at the end of a season. The Mets also made a move that was unexpected.
Sandwiched inbetween the deals of Duda and Reed was the trade the Mets made with the rival Miami Marlins. The Mets acquired reliever A.J Ramos in exchange for three prospects, including the number nine organizational prospect Merandy Gonzales. Ramos, 30, is coming off a 40 save season in 2016, which also saw him make his first All-Star appearance. With that move, Alderson signified that the Mets are ready to move on from the 2017 season.
It is clear that Alderson also still has faith in the potential of the rotation. If the team had a rotational ERA of less than 4.91, we would most likely be having a different conversation right now. The rotation was expected to be a top five force in the league, and is currently 28th in the league in team ERA. With a healthy Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard in tow for next season, the Mets have no reason not to think ahead for the 2018 season.
Of course, the main hole that would be needed to be filled for the 2018 season, would be the bullpen. The bullpen has mostly underperformed this season, and probably their most consistent reliever was traded in Reed. Having Ramos may help to soften the blow of Reed’s departure. Probably the best part of the Ramos trade is that they not only have him for the rest of the 2017 season, but also the 2018 season. A combination of Ramos and a healthy Jeruys Familia, two relievers who each have a 40 save season under their belts, is certainly an enticing thought. Although it is not entirely clear who would close games for the team, it is clear that they should be an effective 8-9 inning combination.
It was clear from the onset of the season that this wouldn’t in fact be the year for the Mets. Whether it be the bevy of injuries or the underperformance of the pitching staff, 2017 has not been kind to the Mets. Of course, there is light at the end of every tunnel. And right now, the light is finally starting to appear. The addition of Ramos in the bullpen for not only the remainder of this season, but also next season, certainly seems to signal an impending improvement in the bullpen. Number one prospect Amed Rosario has finally risen to the major leagues, and Dominic Smith is not far behind him. It signifies a fresh, invigoration into an aging infield. It is very worth watching the remainder of the season, as it may be a preview of what is to come next season. Patience is often tested as a Mets fan, and it will take exactly that to get through the rest of the season. But with Ramos coming to the team, a light has appeared at the tunnel. The light being the 2018 season.