Please use this thread all week to discuss any Mets-specific topic you wish.
John wrote an interesting piece yesterday, asking if the Mets would have been better not making any trades since Brodie Van Wagenen took over. Metsense had a strong comment, comparing all of the players head to head and thinking that the current Mets come out better in every spot except catcher – and even there you have to weigh the injury factor.
My opinion is that you can’t compare these things in just one season. Perhaps Starling Marte is better than Jarred Kelenic in 2022 – although you won’t catch me making that wager – but there’s no way he’s going to be better if both stay healthy the next 3-5 years. And the same thing with Max Scherzer and Zack Wheeler.
The Mets have to make big investments on players the wrong side of 30 right now because of the bad investments that Van Wagenen made in his tenure. If the Mets right now had Kelenic and Wheeler then the free agent moves this year look a lot different and the Mets would have pursued guys in their prime, rather than hoping guys in their mid-to-late 30s can keep holding off Father Time.
Van Wagenen’s tenure is generally viewed poorly by most Mets fans yet it doesn’t seem to me to get the level of scorn it actually deserves. Wheeler has the second-most fWAR of any pitcher the past two seasons, two wins more than Scherzer. And while Kelenic got off to a brutal start in the majors last year at age 21, he delivered 15 XBH in his last 134 PA. When the BABIP normalizes, he’s going to be a star.
The Mets had to apply a free agent tourniquet to stop the bleeding caused by losing these two players. So, it’s not just old guys Scherzer and Marte versus Wheeler and Kelenic, it’s also the extra years those latter two guys could play for you plus whatever excess dollars could have gone to other free agents right now.
Back when the Mets were looking for a GM to replace Sandy Alderson, they had three candidates – Chaim Bloom, Doug Melvin and Van Wagenen. My preference then in order was – Bloom, Van Wagenen and Melvin.
My apologies to Melvin.