Winter Meetings devolve into Bad Idea Theatre for the Mets

Nearly all of us enjoy a put down, a good one liner that cuts people down to size. Now, maybe you prefer your put downs to be of the high-brow variety. Winston Churchill, when he heard one of his political opponents described as “modest,” replied, “Well, he has a lot to be modest about.” Or perhaps the more down to earth among us enjoy President Trump’s zingers, like “Lyin’ Ted” or “Crazy Joe” or “Sloppy Steve.”

Perhaps President Trump’s best one liner came during the campaign when he addressed the experience gap that existed between himself and the Democratic nominee. He told Hillary Clinton that while she did indeed have more experience that it was merely bad experience, with the implication being that it was nothing about which to be proud.

I was thinking of this line yesterday when reading Matthew Cerrone talk about Brodie Van Wagenen.

Cerrone said: “Every reporter and fan of the hot stove should be getting down on their knees and thanking the baseball Gods that he’s in their lives.”

We should be grateful for multiple bad ideas being bandied about during the winter? Why? Trading Noah Syndergaard would be a disaster, as would overpaying (Brandon Nimmo and Amed Rosario) for J.T. Realmuto. Those are the types of ideas that make signing A.J. Pollock and hope he plays more than 115 games for the second time in six years seem like a good idea. Or maybe we can ink a 34 year old who missed most of last year with an injury to a long-term deal. Hey, he’s still two years younger than Robinson Cano! The marketing guys can have a field day.

The comedian Marc Maron did a bit where he talked about being afraid to go online each morning because he wasn’t ready for whatever craziness President Trump might have committed since the last time he checked the news. It’s how I feel about going to ESPN or MetsBlog since news of a possible Cano deal first surfaced.

Trade Syndergaard to the Yankees
Sign Yasmani Grandal who melted down during the playoffs and who would require draft pick compensation
Reunite with Wilmer Flores because the team needs a backup shortstop

It’s ideas like this that make it seem like hitching your wagon to a guy for his age 36-40 seasons isn’t destined to end in failure. And maybe that’s what this is all about. Deflection. Get people to ignore Bad Idea A because we might do Worse Ideas B, C and D at any moment.

One of the purposes when the Mets brought Sandy Alderson aboard is that he was there to be the adult in the room. He was the guy who was going to patiently listen to bad ideas that others had and immediately say no to them. But who’s the adult now? If it’s Omar Minaya, methinks we may be in trouble. Perhaps Allard Baird can grow into that role.

Hey, at least we don’t have to worry about Billy Hamilton, who got the Royals to give him $5.25 million. And the chance to earn an additional $1 million in incentives. Forget Scott Boras getting $300 million deals for his high end clients. The Wasserman Media Group getting this type of deal for a guy who should be on an NRI is pretty impressive. Well done, WMG. And credit where credit is due – to my knowledge there was never any rumors connecting the Mets and Hamilton. So Van Wagenen’s got that going for him, which is nice.

15 comments for “Winter Meetings devolve into Bad Idea Theatre for the Mets

  1. December 12, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Where’s the logic in trading Thor just to sign a FA to replace him in the starting rotation? God we’re moving from one disastrous idea to the next. Who replaces Thor? At what cost? We can guess the payroll is going to end probably at 150 – 160. So can the Mets please sign Robertson or Familia and finish shoring up the glaring weakness that cost this team so many losses last year? Just to make matters worse the Phillies just signed McCutchen to a ridiculous 50 million for 3 years.If your going to re-up Flores why not take Tulowitzki? Just kidding.

  2. December 12, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Mets are leaking everything to the media like they did back in the Steve Phillips days. Grandal is as good as Realmuto and doesn’t cost you Nimmo and Rosario I’d even sign Ramos even with his injury history and defense going the wrong way.

  3. Bob
    December 12, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Over the last 50 years as a fan I have been through seasons where the movement of players didn’t make sense (Lenny Dykstra to Philadelphia for Juan Samuel, Tom Seaver to the Reds for Flynn and Zackary, etc) but I always hung in there hoping that there was a long term strategy. Our GM must have a plan (his one hangup so far has been incompetent owners and our last great GM that gutted the system giving him advise). I like the idea of getting Realmuto but hate getting rid of Nimmo or Conforto (I can live with Rosario) especially since there are FA catchers. Trading THOR is absurd. Just sign Familia and Robertson and move on. I’m not sure about AJ Pollock (I guess he and Cespedes can enjoy each others company on the DL). Our owners need to give the GM some money so he doesn’t have to subtract to add so that he can stay within a certain budget which for a large market team is way to low.
    After 50 years I deserve some venting……

  4. December 12, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Bob we all do. Its just that teams like the A’s and Rays find ways to win when 90 games and their teams can’t draw fans. Their payroll is usually less than half of the Mets payroll. Somehow our ownership finds ways to screw up even the simplest trades because of their penchant for saving costs.

  5. Mike Walczak
    December 12, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Mets trades that I hated.

    Seaver to the Reds for a pile of junk.
    Dykstra and McDowell to Philly for Juan Samuel
    Rusty Staub to Detroit for Mickey Lolich
    Jeff Reardon to the Expos for Ellis Valentine
    Dave Kingman to the Padres for Bobby Valentine

    Sure feels like Van Wags has it in for Syndergaard, doesnt it. Why trade a potential number one stud Cy Young Award potential pitcher? He has to know something.

  6. TJ
    December 12, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    I am as concerned as anyone about a Met trade overpay, butall these “deals” reported in the frenzied media are nothing but asks, speculation, and hot air. Overpay theater doesn’t even start the promos until actrade is consummated.

  7. Chris F
    December 12, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Before I need to surrender the well deserved mantle of Mayor of Panic City, lets take a deep breath.

    1. There is absolutely no hurt in talk. One thing is clear, every player is replaceable for the right price. Thats how it should be. In any event, every player gets replaced eventually.

    2. Nothing has happened. All kinds of talk, no action. Lotta rumors. Its nice to feel relevant for a change. No games have been played yet, but I get the feeling BVW is thinking system wide.

    3. BVW is vocal, outgoing, driven, and active. Yes, he is the polar opposite of the sloth-like demeanor we were lulled into during the Winters of Discontent of the Alderson regime. At least we are in the 21st C now. Side note: So far the least talked about off season moves for BVW have been the raiding of the Red Sox FO staff and getting a new head for analytics…all come with great reps.

    4. As has been mentioned here for some time, BVW has a lot of holes to fill this year, more so if the vision is to be a legit contender. To fill a lot of holes in the big league squad *and* somehow rescue the pipeline (now ranked 27th by BA) is gonna take a lot of action.

    Any thought this team needed a closer, two RP, and RH bat is crazy. It is clear BVW and the team now sees that. This team was not going to finish higher than 4th with tendering Flores, Lagares in CF, and signing Familia. Bringing back the band is 80 wins. Ive had enough of the old way personally.

    Anyway, before panic sets in, lets let the FO do their job and see what we have on 1 April. Im ready to give them the winter to do this.

  8. Name
    December 12, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Defense getting paid this winter. Hamilton and now Mercer both get 5.25 mil.

    Would anyone be interested in Lagares at that same price? I’d give him away for free at that price in a heartbeat as it could basically net another reliever.

  9. MattyMets
    December 12, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Perfect timing. Was just about to check Twitter where I follow every Mets beat writer and every reliable source. I’m so hesitant to click that little blue bird. Except for deGrom, I think I’ve seen every active Mets name floated in trade rumors this off season. Oh wait, I don’t think I’ve heard Paul Sewald mentioned yet. I agree with the Jerry Seinfeld notion that we root for the laundry. But it helps to have a few guys you’re familiar with.

    • Chris F
      December 12, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      If Brodie does his work right, even if the 25 man team was all new faces, and they were winning at a .650 clip, we would find all kinds of new faces to fall in love with…let me use Jeff McNeil as an example…and Dom Smith. McNiel was so far off radar had he left the system, few would have blinked, and then in a breath, he’s a hero (also recall TJ Rivera among many others). The flip side is Dom Smith, the pre-annointed first baseman of the future with a glove of gold and a bat with unlimited power. Hold it, who is Dom Smith…didn’t I see him in left field???

      My point is during the legacy of Mets360, we have lived in the Alderson years. We have had a team to adore for brief moments, highlighted by 8 weeks in 2015, but mostly its been the faces we’ve come to love in the near total absence of decent baseball. RA Dickey, Johan, Thor, deGrom, Flores, Wheeler, Conforto, Bart, Nimmo, or Kelenic all represent individuals to root for in a time when the team has looked bleak. Its natural to hurt when we go through a break up. If BVW does his job right, then there will be new names to love, with the principal one being “Mets”.

  10. December 12, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    I get the impression BVW is just doing his due diligence to gauge what he can get for what he has on his roster. Let’s not forget he just got here. I’m wondering who is he relying on in the Met organization for information on his players? I was thinking if he truly wanted to make a splash here in NYC he could’ve made the same trade for Cano and added Thor for Trout?? (minus the dead contracts) Would’ve solved so many problems in one shot.

  11. TexasGusCC
    December 13, 2018 at 2:13 am

    I get the Realmuto infatuation, but what I don’t get is trading Rosario for him and getting a Hechoveria, Inglesias or a Galvis to man SS. What a better combo? Rosario and Maldonado and have money for a reliever, or Realmuto and Galvis without another good reliever? I’d rather the former. What are these guys doing?

    • TexasGusCC
      December 13, 2018 at 2:35 am

      Actually, the third player named in the report was Escobar from the Royals, not Inglesias. Still, even though Inglesias is a decent producer, I’m not too sure I’d want him as a teammate of mine..

  12. Nym6986
    December 13, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Just read we resigned Familia for three years. He’d be a hell of a set up man or alternate closer. If it’s true then let’s get us a catcher now. The reality is you need to give talent to get talent and Nimmo, however much we like his potential, is the easiest piece to give up. I think BVW’s biggest asset is that he knows how to close deals and is being aggressive. We need some patience as Met fans because nothing comes easy and we always need the stars to be aligned just to make the playoffs. I’ve always said that if our hitters could just have their statistical average years we would win a lot of games. Still, wouldn’t it be great to have a star to build our team around? Let’s make sure out training staff is the best there is so perhaps we can avoid some injuries. Let’s not sign anymore fringe players hoping to get bargain basement surprises as that rarely works – for us anyway. Still psyched with all the talk about potential trades. #LGM 2019

    • MattyMets
      December 13, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Familia signing caught me by surprise. On our podcast last night I predicted the Mets wouldn’t leave the winter meetings without their 8th inning guy, but I thought it was going to be Miller. The bullpen, with another addition of a lefty and some improvement from a few of those young righties can now be a team strength. That alone will make us a better team than we’ve been the last two years.

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