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.

17 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (12/15/21)

  • Steve_S.

    My Hall of Fame ballot this year. Wish I had one!
    Below are my five votes. What about y’all?

    Curt Schilling (127 ERA+; 80.5 WAR)
    Billy Wagner (187; 27.8)
    Scott Rolen (122; 70.1)
    Todd Helton (133; 61.8)
    Jeff Kent (123; 55.5)

  • Bob P

    I hope that this year is just a tourniquet as you mentioned, and so far it seems to be heading that way, in that the Mets have held off from signing any free agents attached to QOs and have so far refrained from parting with any of their significant prospects this offseason. I’d like to see that continue and build the farm system. The current plan of bringing in 4 30+ free agents has definitely made the team better on paper for next year, but adding a few 30 something free agents every year at top dollar because they are coming off of good years is not a long term recipe for success in my opinion. I’d rather see these type of players added as supplemental pieces, or the last piece to put a strong team over the top when we have a strong core of younger players built up. Since that might take a few years, I’m OK with the current strategy, but I hope as a couple of these contracts fall off in a few years, we are in better shape with a younger core that just needs to be supplemented rather than having more than half the team on the wrong side of 30. And while I always want to win, my preference is to do it with home grown talent that you’ve watched grow than by bringing in mercenaries to get you there.

    • Steve_S.

      I’m with ya, Bob. I think the present Mets strategy is to bring in these 30+ guys on shorter term contracts, with the expectation that in three years their team might look like this:

      1B Alonso
      2B Mauricio
      SS Lindor
      3B Baty
      LF/DH Vientos (maybe Smith also DHing)
      CF Marte ending his time here (Lee coming in?)
      OF Nimmo
      C Alvarez
      SP deGrom
      SP Scherzer ending up
      SP Rodon, hopefully
      SP Allan
      SP Ginn/Megill
      Closer Diaz or ???

      • Woodrow


        • Steve_S.

          I think that he’ll be gone by then.

    • T.J.

      Bob, I’m with you are well. I am not a fan of continued big deals for thirtysomethings. So, far, I think they have shown decent discretion. The Scherzer deal is a different animal, a statement move that has maybe more brand building intent than maximizing WAR for 3 years. The Marte move is an overpay for sure, especially with his sketchy past “training” methods, but it’s not a payroll killer. The other two guys fall into the “complimentary” category. As I stated on a prior post, I would like to see some discipline once the labor deal is struck. Keep those picks, no thanks on a mega-deal for Bryant, no thanks on a pricey overpay starting pitcher. There should be value signings to be had out there that will improve the team without overcommitting…Eppler needs to nail a few.

  • José

    Schilling dedicates great effort in making me nauseous.
    He has succeeded
    He’d be an excellent choice for the HOF
    If he kept his bleepin’ mouth shut

    • Brian Joura

      I despise Curt Schilling’s politics.

      But his thoughts and how he chooses to express them should have no bearing on his HOF candidacy. If I had a vote for the Hall he would definitely make my ballot. He was a great pitcher and that’s all that matters.

  • José

    Mark Teixeira thinks Bucko is “the smartest man in baseball”.
    Mad Dog Max prefers Buckaroo to be his manager.
    People at this here blog think he’s not only a swell fella, but the best choice for manager of NYM available.
    I’m not convinced.

    If he’s so darn brilliant, why has he been guilty of more than his share of bonehead moves, especially in crucial games?
    I mean, everybody makes mistakes, right?
    But his blunders seem to come at the absolutely worst times, such as in the last games for his teams in 1995 and 2016 seasons (which I have previously documented).

    Also, there’s been several indications of his being a control freak, though people have expressed this using different words.
    Does control freakery disqualify a candidate for a MLB manager position?

  • Mike W

    I vote for Showalter. I dont want another first time manager.

  • Metsense

    John’s yesterday was a general article and I made a general response. I would prefer to analyze and discuss each individual trade and free agent signed in depth and not in the wide brush stroke that the article portrayed. Yes Brian, you should see the whole picture.
    I would rather have Wheeler than to need to sign Scherzer. I would have not done the Cano deal. (Brian enlightened me after at the time of the trade). I have much scorn for Brodie because his leadership set up the Mets backward. Also, the Wilpon’s should not have been baseball owners. I agree with Bob P assessment (above) of the present situation. Yesterday, TJ had a good comment also.

    • JimmyP

      Signing Wheeler was in no possible way an option for Brodie. It was an ownership situation. So he traded prospects for Stroman.

      The “blame” for BVW should go, if it goes anymore, on the Wilpons.

      And also to Sandy Alderson, who in 10 years has really done almost nothing positive for the organization. Now executive core. A garbage farm system. Poor player evaluation (years of terrible defense and confused hitters). Years of losing and laziness. If not for an insane infusion of cash, the Mets would be facing a total rebuild. So much for his promise — repeated here like gospel for the past 10 years — of “sustained success.”

      Thank goodness his power is finally being limited. The Sandy decade was a disaster.

  • Wobbit

    Nimmo-Marte-Canha huge upgrade in OF.
    Escobar nice upgrade in IF (over JD)
    Scherza huge upgrade to SP rotation.
    Cano and McNeil will not start at 2B… let’s get Storey… upgrade.

    Mets considerably better than last year. Still a few players away from reaching 90 wins…

    Pitching (barring lengthy injuries):
    deGrom 15-5
    Max 15-5
    Taijuan 12-6
    Rodon 14-6
    That’s 56-22…good start to 90+ wins.

    • Steve_S.

      Carrasco 9-7?

  • Wobbit

    I just have no idea what Carrasco will give us. The four starters I listed were those I felt bullish about. Among them, deGrom is actually the least assured. While 15-5 is certainly reasonable to expect, him pitching that much isn’t.

    I think getting Max on the team changes everything, even for deGrom. JdG now has a real motivation, can feel less pressure to carry the team, and may learn from association with Max how to adjust with age and how he can pitch more innings. Under these best case scenarios, if both Max and Jake remain healthy, the Mets have a clear advantage over their division rivals, who don’t want to face these two guys back to back in a short series.

    Walker, as I have mentioned before, has a great chance to have a very good season. While he tired last season (understandably), his final 7.0 inning/2 hit performance served notice that he would be back in April with a vengeance.

    Megill just showed me great great promise. He threw 97 easily and was tight in the zone… phenomenal for a young guy jumping from AA. Just give him the ball steadily under Buck’s supervision, and he will impress.

  • MattyMets

    One of the dumbest recent moves the Mets made can’t be blamed on BVW – the Kumar Rocker debacle. I’ll never understand this. The #2 pitching prospect and a can’t miss arm with pedigree drops into our lap and we find a reason to not sign him?? Aside from projecting as a future ace, his name recognition alone made him a great trade chip. If there was serious injury concern, why the hell did we draft him to begin with? I sure hope we don’t wind up seeing Rocker and Kelenic in future All-Star games.

    Letting Wheeler get away was idiotic but, as was the case with Jose Reyes, this is on ownership. To be clear, BVW stunk but he can’t be blamed for everything.

    • Woodrow

      Jose did not justify his FA contract. Wheeler, he was Syndergard 2 years ago. Rocker? Have to think there was a reason he fell in the draft. Maybe there is a serious problem with him.

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