The Mets’ 2018 season is done. Now what?

Everybody knows the old joke about a baseball team being so being so bad, it’s eliminated from contention by Memorial Day. This year’s Mets have become that old joke. The level of ineptitude on display the past eight-and-a-half weeks truly defies description. Last year was bad, we know this, but you could point to a spate of devastating injuries – Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares, to name a few — to explain away a 94-loss campaign. There are injuries this year – Todd Frazier, Anthony Swarzak, Syndergaard, Lagares and Cespedes again — as well, but face it: these guys weren’t playing all that well before anybody got hurt. No, this one is deeper than that. This seems to be in the head. Long-time fans will remember how it felt to watch the 2007 season slip away in September, when every day brought a new way of losing and the pennant that was seemingly “ours” ended up down the Turnpike a piece. Right now, we have that same feeling every damn day and it’s only June.

On April 16, the Mets were sitting on a 12-2 record and enjoying a seventh inning 6-1 lead over the prohibitive favorites to win the NL East, the Washington Nationals. Fans in the stands were feeling giddy, derisively serenading superstar right fielder Bryce Harper with a singsong chant of his name. Jacob deGrom had started the eighth and left with the bases loaded, one out and Harper due up. Jerry Blevins came in to face the lefty hitter and gave up a two-run single. The rest of the bullpen couldn’t put this game back together again and the Nationals ended up winning it, 8-6. Since then, the Mets have been worthless. They’ve had exactly one – one! – winning week, in the middle of May, which included the first two legs of an improbable sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks. And it’s not like this is a very young team that got in over its head and couldn’t handle early success. These guys are veterans, former All-Stars, for the most part, who are supposed to know what they’re doing. Right now, it looks like they don’t. Muffed pop-ups. Throwing to the incorrect base. Bunting into double plays. Heck, even the manager isn’t immune, as Mickey Callaway made the ultimate gaffe when he was looking at the wrong lineup card and batted out of order against the Cincinnati Reds a few weeks ago. Speaking of which… Cincinnati, the Miami Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles all entered the season each projected to be the worst teams in their respective divisions, each on track for 100 losses. In recent weeks, the Mets have played all three and have a record of 2-6 against them. Tell me again who the worst teams in baseball are?

OK, so what’s to be done about it? The Mets’ most valuable commodity right now is clearly deGrom. I had a Yankee-fan friend – I have a lot of those; seems like too many, sometimes – ask me the other night if I’d rather see the Mets lose with deGrom or trade him while his value is high. I said, “You want deGrom? You got him… for Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar and Justus Sheffield.” He said, “Don’t get greedy! Give you Aaron Hicks instead of Frazier.” I said, “You want him? Pay through the nose.” He goes, “Fine, stay mediocre. deGrom is going to end up on a contender anyway.” I sez, “Probably, but that’s no reason the Mets shouldn’t hold out for everything they want in exchange. deGrom is the asset here and anybody who wants to pony up better be prepared to pay steep.” He goes, “Well, the limo ride from Queens to the Bronx is already reserved for him.” I said, “Andujar, Frazier and Sheffield and I’ll drive him myself.” That would be a blockbuster on both sides, to be sure, if more than a little drastic. There are people on Twitter calling for wholesale firings of Callaway, hitting coach Pat Roessler and GM Sandy Alderson. That would be nothing but a sop to the fans and have no real impact on what’s going on on the field. Some are calling for the call-up of AA prospect Peter Alonso, currently knocking the cover off the ball in pitcher-friendly Binghamton, but would you want to throw someone that young and with that much potential into this cauldron? Is there anybody else to trade? Of course; there always is, but at current performance, who wants them? The Mets could get pennies on the dollar for Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, Asdrubal Cabrera, etc., but to what end? This team is headed for a 104-loss year and is there any deal out there that will turn that around? No, right now, we are stuck in a Polo Grounds nightmare with no end in sight.

Or “we” could go ahead and trade deGrom.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley.

19 comments for “The Mets’ 2018 season is done. Now what?

  1. June 7, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Sorry Not making that trade with the Yankees rather extend Thor and deGrom, you can get decent pieces for Familia, Cabrera, Frazier and others. Bruce is unmovable the Mets put Bruce on the trade market with months left on his deal last year and finally found a team and got an A ball lefty for him. If the Mets ate most Bruce’s contract they could have a small chance but the Wilpons won’t do that.

    • Steve S.
      June 7, 2018 at 9:44 am

      I’m on the same page, David. Yes, extend Thor and deGrom, and trade Familia, as well as Ramos. Keep Frazier for now. And, yes, we are stuck with Bruce, who will probably start hitting soon anyway.

      Gsellman can close, with Swarzak setting him up.

      The problem is really hitting, even with Cespedes coming back. So bring up Alonso and McNeil and release Gonzalez and Reyes. Rivera and Flores will also help the boost the bench.

      • TexasGusCC
        June 7, 2018 at 9:53 am

        Steve, you really think a 26 year old McNeil in AA is better than Flores and Rivera, that have hit on the major league level? Don’t forget, McNeil was at AAA last year, and struggled before getting hurt. Prior to that, he was basically skipped over AA, so he is a couple of years behind due to injury, but back on track.

        • Steve S.
          June 7, 2018 at 10:23 am

          No, but I think McNeil is better than Reyes. Give him a shot, and then send him down again when Rivera and Flores are healthy again.

  2. Meticated
    June 7, 2018 at 8:15 am

    whoa, so incredibly bizarre…I had the most authentic sense that I had read the exact same article every year, not just once, but twice before..and scrolled down only to find that it was actually newly minted….crazzzzyyy….I was sure that it was a creative genius way of substituting new players names into the same old scenario…I am not kidding…it was so profoundly disturbing, that I was sensing that after I had read the piece till the end it would ultimately reveal itself as a truly clever mindbend… but not so!. The crushing reality is that it could have been constructed in that manner, similar to the way in which a funhouse mirror reflects itself ad nauseum…eeerily, precisely like these Mets

  3. June 7, 2018 at 8:15 am

    One frequently-overlooked aspect to this 8 weeks of lousy baseball: the poor performances of Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario, especially over the last few weeks.

    If these guys are “the future,” we’re totally screwed!

    • June 7, 2018 at 8:38 am

      What? Nimmo has been worth nearly two war this year and in the last week has slumped for the first time this year.

    • June 7, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Also Nimmo just came off an 11 day stretch where he hit five homers do you watch the games Dan? God knows you don’t look at numbers.

      • June 7, 2018 at 12:31 pm

        I watched the last 6 when they scored a grand total of 7 runs. Nimmo’s a nice player, but let’s not get too carried away. His 1.6 WAR is good, but not great. It just makes him the tallest midget.

        • June 7, 2018 at 12:56 pm

          A 1.8 war puts him among the top twentyish position players in the game and he didn’t play much in April.

          • June 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm

            Yeah, but it’s 1.6. Not “2-ish” or “1.8!”

            He’s a good player. I like him. Should he be counted on as being part of “the core?” I am unsure. If I could get two serviceable players in return for him, I’d listen. Same with Conforto and Rosario.

            • June 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm

              Well I’m using Fangraphs version of WAR, which has him at near 2 WAR. I think with his on base skills, new found power and base running he can definitely be a core guy.

            • June 7, 2018 at 3:10 pm

              And trading young players with big upside so early in their careers makes no sense at all.

  4. Mike Walczak
    June 7, 2018 at 8:47 am

    The first step is the GM. He won’t get the ax during the season. He needs to go. And his replacement cannot be his buddy Minaya.

    Alderson is easy to read. At the deadline, he will trade Familia and Cabrera for a couple of insignificant minor leaguers. That’s it.

    If he doesn’t go, you can count on next off season that he will hunt the bargain bin again.

    • June 7, 2018 at 9:04 am

      No the owners are the issue and Minaj’s is Fred’s buddy definitely not Sandy’s.

      • June 7, 2018 at 9:19 am

        Lol Minja’s That’s some work by me and autocorrect, I need to proofread better next time.

  5. Madman
    June 7, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Wow,didn’t see this coming…didn’t see it after the start,didn’t see it in ST. Hope it’s just a terrible streak,but I don’t see this team going over 500 this season.

  6. June 7, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Throw in Avelino and Florial and I make that deal

  7. MattyMets
    June 7, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    read an article this morning about how the Cleveland Cavaliers blew a once in a franchise opportunity to build a dynasty around LeBron James. He’s been a Cav for 11 of his 15 years and they have just one ring to show for it.

    I sense that we’re going to look back on our lost opportunity with this pitching talent. When you have a core like that who just missed a WS win you have to build around them with the right supporting stars, not b level FAs to plug holes. We can blame the Wilsons for making Sandy choose Wright or Reyes and then Cespedes or Murphy. Those should have been ands, not ors.

    But it’s on Sandy for sticking with this 1980s American League philosophy where all you need are veteran home run hitters – speed and defense be damned.

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