Brian wrote an excellent article on Sunday detailing the “performance” of the new players Brodie Van Wagenen acquired for the Mets for this season. To summarize, the group is top-heavy with largely underperforming, overpaid, and aging veterans. We’re going to take a look at the other side of the equation today, that is, how well are the players the Mets exiled to other teams, under Van Wagenen’s watch, performing so far this season? The short answer is they are mostly playing subpar ball… at least those that are in the majors.
Catcher Kevin Plawecki was shipped off to the Cleveland Indians over the winter to serve as their backup catcher. At the bat, in 19 games, he has put up a .149/.259/.298 line, bad by any standard. He has shown some decent defense, he has a CS rate of 29% and zero PB.
Infielder Wilmer Flores was not tendered a contract by the Mets, and he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s getting a lot of playing time, spit between second and first base. His slash line is .281/.326/.398. That’s kind of deficient in power, especially considering that he is playing in the hitter-friendly thin air of Arizona. His BA though, is higher than that of most of the Mets’ regulars. As usual he is hitting left-handers well, his BA against southpaws is .306.
Anthony Swarzak was part of the Robinson Cano trade, and he started off really well for the Mariners. He was used as a closer by Seattle early in the season. His ERA is now 5.27, with a WHIP of 1.610, If he keeps that up he may not be in the big leagues much longer.
Outfielder Jay Bruce accompanied Swarzak to Seattle, He’s played a lot (39 games) he’s hit homers a lot (12), but he is not hitting much besides those four-baggers. His slash line is an unusual .187/.255/.496.
Nothing too impressive about the major leaguers sent to the other teams, but when we look at the prospects sent things look different. Right-handed pitcher Justin Dunn was a 2016 round one selection of the Mets. Playing for Class AA Arkansas in the Mariners system he has made seven starts with a 3.51 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and hitters are batting .238 against him. He’s rated as one of the Mariners top pitching prospects.
Outfielder Jarred Kelenic is tearing up the league for Class A West Virginia in the South Atlantic League. In 40 games he’s slashing .304/.385/,513. He has some speed, he’s swiped seven bases so far. He was the Mets number one pick in the draft last year, and he’s just a year out of high school. He is rated in the top tier of prospects in the Mariner’s system.
Considering that the prospects given up are looking awfully good, and that the Mets are on the hook for three more years of the pricey Robinson Cano contract, on balance this was not a good first season of roster moves by Van Wagenen. Perhaps fishing in the agent pool is not the best way to find a good GM.