Things are never as easy as they seem. And that point is driven home more than ever in the uncertainty of our new Covid world. The Mets announced their preliminary summer camp roster and it was hard not to notice the absence of most of their highest-rated prospects. While teenagers like Wander Franco and Jarred Kelenic were on the rosters for Tampa Bay and Seattle, Ronny Mauricio and Francisco Alvarez were nowhere to be seen on the Mets’ initial roster. And while there is still time – and spots – to add them later, it seems beyond odd that they’re not there now.

No doubt some of this is due to space limitations, which are all the more important with the social distance guidelines in place. At their Spring Training complex in Florida, the Mets have multiple fields available for players. Initially, they have just Citi Field in New York, although the expectation is that MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, will be used, too.

But beyond the space problem, we have a bias from GM Brodie Van Wagenen. The same mindset that allowed him to part ways with Kelenic because he was years away is still in full swing. There are no players like Mauricio and Alvarez around because they’re too young and too far away. Here’s what Van Wagenen said in his press briefing:

“This team’s built to win, and our intention at least at the early going of this process is to have players in camp that we think are capable of helping us at the major-league level this year.”

So, we get Gordon Beckham and Melky Cabrera, two veterans recently added to the players in camp for the Mets. Of course, Beckham had a (-0.1) fWAR for the Tigers last year while Cabrera checked in with a (-0.7) for the Pirates. It’s certainly up for debate how much help those two players well on the wrong side of 30 will be able to provide the major league club.

With a limit of 60 players, the Mets could field two 26-man rosters and still have eight spots left over for their top minor league prospects. The advantage to having prospects on the roster is that this is the only way the Mets can give them in-person instruction. Zoom meetings are great but it’s still the best idea to have your top coaches working hands-on with your top prospects.

It’s certainly possible that we’ll see the youngsters added once the Brooklyn facility is up and running. But if that’s the case – for Pete’s sake just say so. It’s not like announcing that will give away some trade secret or something.

Van Wagenen is focused on the major league team in this shortened season. And no one is suggesting the Mets punt this year because they have as good a shot as anyone. But you can accomplish multiple goals at the same time. There’s absolutely no sense in leaving guys like Mauricio and Alvarez away from the summer camp, assuming that they are Covid free and have no problems getting to the U.S. if they went back to their homelands. If either of those are the case – and there are reports of unnamed minor league guys for the Mets testing positive – than surely there are people like Brett Baty and Mark Vientos who could be there.

Let’s see some dedication to the future of the team, not just the 2020 season.

17 comments on “Mets once again show their preference for washed-up veterans

  • David Klein

    Beckham is most egregious dude hasn’t been good since ‘09

  • Mike W

    I was really disappointed to see Van Wagenen dumpster diving. Shopping in the garbage heap. They should have put the youngsters on the 60 man list. Especially important if they quickly fall out of contention, which is a very real possibility, especially playing 40 games within the division.

  • Chris F

    2020 – We’re rebuilding for it!

  • John Fox

    As if there weren’t enough designated hitter types on the roster to begin with, they had to add Cabrera?

    • Mike W

      And now 35 year old Jared Hughes. Yet while we are bargain bin hunting, San Diego picks up speedster Jorge Mateo for a player to be named later.

      • Mike W

        Welcome to Bobby Bonilla day. Since we are paying him, we should play him. Saves the 600k we would have to pay another junk veteran.

  • MattyMets

    Was going to post this elsewhere, but it fits snuggly here. Check out this Bobby Valentine /Steve Phillips epitome of dysfunction.

  • Eraff

    Will any of the Prospects be allowed as Non Roster to the Camp?

    I think this is an early look at managing available guys and Roster Allotment, long term

  • MattyMets

    After reading this article I agree with Brian .

    It may be the only hands on development these players get this year.

  • Edwin e Pena

    Hughes, Beckham = sucks, however, Melky may be a better outfielder right now than JD Davis, Cespedes (limitations), D.Smith. Also, pretty much a career .280 hitter. An injury or two and he can play a lot in a limited season. Maybe he will motivate his ex Yankee buddy Cano as well. Someone has to.

    • Name

      Not sure why you are hating on Hughes he would have been the 3rd best reliever statistically last year for the Mets in what was a down year for him.

      2014-2018 averaged a 2.50 ERA with 65 IP.

      Melky is obviously here to help be the supplier for his buddy Cano with PEDs again.

      • Chris F

        So true Name. Melky is in the finest tradition of Marlon Byrd.

    • Brian Joura

      In 682.2 innings in the outfield last year – essentially half a year – Melky Cabrera had a (-15) DRS. He’s not some guy learning the position, like Smith and Davis, it’s the position he’s played his entire career. He’s a legitimately terrible defensive outfielder at this point of his career.

    • David Klein

      Melky had a wRC+ of 88 and can’t play defense anymore

  • TJ

    Dang, Name beat me to the Melky line.

    Certainly disappointing not to see the two blue chippers at this point…I think Franco and Kelenic are closer…not sure of the technicalities involved.

  • Ike

    One of the other big pluses with new ownership hopefully will be a new GM that is a real baseball man and not some money man let’s get someone in here knows baseball

  • NYM6986

    Bargain hunting is fine to fill in a role but not a way to pick up a relevant piece. Shows how little they think of their minor league prospects. It’s already a lost season.

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