There’s been a fair amount of debate about what kind of offseason David Stearns has had. And before we engage on that here, we need to understand that there was a plan in place and that was – with the exception of Yoshinobu Yamamoto – the Mets were not going to be aggressive in free agency. Instead, the plan was to supplement the roster with players on short-term deals, with the emphasis on future payroll flexibility. The hope was that they could add those players to a strong returning core – if not an especially deep core – and make a run at the Wild Card.

And they certainly kept to the premise of retaining future payroll flexibility, as only one player is signed beyond this year. And even that comes with a caveat, as Sean Manaea has a player option that, barring injury, he’s very unlikely to use.

Baseball-Reference on their team pages has a very neat thing where they show the top 12 players by rWAR. And here’s how Stearns’ additions rank:

1 – Harrison Bader – 1.2
2 – Manaea – 1.1
5 – Luis Severino – 0.9
9 – Jorge Lopez – 0.6

The three players that received 8-digit contracts are all in the top five of the team in rWAR. That seems like a HR outcome to me. Of course, that’s possible because Pete Alonso, Edwin Diaz, Starling Marte, Jeff McNeil and Jose Quintana are nowhere to be found in the top 12. And Francisco Alvarez has missed most of the season and Kodai Senga still hasn’t thrown a pitch.

With the season now one-third over, Stearns’ big three additions are pretty much on pace to deliver 3.0 rWAR. If they were to achieve that, and my advice would be to pass if someone offered you that wager, then they would far exceed the money they received.

My opinion is that Bader and Severino should be shopped now, regardless if the front office is still clinging to the dream of a Wild Card finish. The hits are falling in at an unsustainable rate for Bader. And Severino has benefited from having six of his 10 starts at Citi Field. In road games, he has a 5.16 ERA.

Last year, Billy Eppler was able to turn a free agent he signed in the offseason into Jeremy Rodriguez, who at the time was a DSL lottery ticket. Just yesterday, David Groveman called him a top-10 prospect. It will be great if Stearns can do something similar. Now, all of the public declarations from the brass is how the team isn’t in sell mode right now. That’s to be expected. But it would be malpractice if they weren’t doing prep work now on future trades.

8 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (5/29/31)

  • T.J.

    I cannot hold Stearns responsible for the underperformance of the controllable veterans under contract beyond 2024. While his stopgap signings are performing at levels that “exonerate” him, and may allow him to grab some lottery tickets via trade, so far this has evolved into a worse case scenario. Lindor, Diaz, McNeil, and especially Alonso being terrible so far is very bad for the mid-term prospects of this team being competitive in 2025-6. They are bottom 5 in MLB and moving in the wrong direction….even with Daddy Warbucks and an Ivy League GM this is developing into a big time challenge.

  • James M OMalley

    I agree. Deals should be looked to be made now. Keep adding to the AA roster.

  • Woodrow

    Well last year Uncle Steve folded and had a fire sale. Unfortunately that didn’t help get him below the payroll tax or seemingly help the farm system too much. Gotta think he’ll do that again. McNeil is untradeable. Don’t think anyone will trad for Lindor. Alonso will be on the table. Severino and Manaea will bring back the most.. Taylor,Bader and the relief pitchers might bring back some B prospects. The outlook isn’t very good.

  • TexasGusCC

    Wow, Jorge Lopez drops the mic!

    “I think I’ve been on the worst team in probably the whole f–king MLB.”

    – Jorge López

  • Name

    Well Stearns can start the discussions for those folks now but still over 2 weeks away when they could actually be moved. Better hope they don’t implode before then.

  • NYM6986

    When I wrote early last week that it was time to tear down this team now, it was met with only a few who concurred that it should start happening, versus a number of commenters who said it was too early and the team could still go on a run. It seems that now after yet another run of terrible losses, most of us are on the same page to start moving players. No one on this team is off limits except for Nimmo and Lindor. Back up the truck, get as much as you can, shed payroll and move forward.

  • James M OMalley

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Strawberry used his time during his number retirement ceremony to put a perspective on their current troubles and motivate the team?

  • Brian Joura

    Tommy Pham in the news tonight.

    “Chicago White Sox outfielder Tommy Pham took issue with William Contreras after the Brewers catcher nailed Pham at the plate while he was gunning for home in an attempt to tie up Sunday’s game between the two teams.


    “I really wasn’t paying attention to what he had to say,” Contreras said through an interpreter. “I didn’t know what he was saying in my direction.”

    Pham had a different take on the pivotal play.

    “It was a shallow fly ball to left field. You would expect the left fielder to throw the baserunner out on that play,” he said. “The third-base coach [Eddie Rodriguez] sends you, you’ve got to go. I’m nailed out at home by a mile. I’m going to the dugout. I hear the tough guy [Contreras] with all the hoorah s—. I never start anything, but I’ll be prepared to finish it.”

    That guy’s both perfect and never happy. Guess there’s a reason he’s with his eighth team and has been traded four times. He gets traded one more time, he ties Jonathan Villar, another guy who put up solid numbers yet teams were more than willing to let leave.

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