PHILADELPHIA — Brodie Van Wagenen sure got this season all wrong, but let’s see if the Mets’ general manager can begin to recover from his rookie mistakes or if he compounds them.
The competitive portion of this Mets season ended at Citizens Bank Park this week, where they got swept in four games by the Phillies to finish a 3-8 road trip. For a third straight year, the Mets will head to July already cooked, needing a miracle. The rest of the league has responded to Van Wagenen’s “come get us” challenge by stuffing the Mets into a U-Haul and driving it to Nebraska.
After Edwin Diaz’s latest ninth-inning meltdown in their 6-3 loss to the Phillies on Thursday, the Mets had a 7.4% chance of reaching the postseason, according to Fangraphs. This is a team that only once has won as many as four straight games. On the road, the Mets are a disastrous 17-31. Jed Lowrie isn’t walking through the door anytime soon to make it right.
So now Van Wagenen should take a cue from his predecessor, Sandy Alderson, and start letting teams know the Mets are open for business. Just over a month remains until July 31 and the trade deadline — remember, August waiver deals have been eliminated — and the Mets have a few assets that can garner returns. Start listening now and block out delusions about a hot stretch that will carry the team back into contention.
Mets end abysmal road trip with another Edwin Diaz implosion
PHILADELPHIA — The bats came back just in time. But…
The asset at the top of that list, Zack Wheeler, is rolling again after firing a two-hitter over six innings in which he allowed one run. The right-hander will be a free agent after this season, which will dampen the potential trade return, but keeping him shouldn’t be an option.
“That would be unfortunate if we had to see some of our teammates go somewhere else because we’re not getting it done,” manager Mickey Callaway said.
Todd Frazier and Jason Vargas also are potential free agents (Vargas’ 2020 option can be bought out for $2 million) and are producing respectably enough to return something of value, especially if Van Wagenen can convince team COO Jeff Wilpon to swallow significant remainders of their respective contracts. Is Dominic Smith part of the Mets’ future as a left fielder or does it make sense to trade him now, with his stock at an all-time high? Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz have two and three years of club control remaining, respectively, after this season, but shouldn’t be exempt from trade consideration.
But the Mets will also need a rotation in 2020 and it won’t be enough to fill it with Jacob deGrom and potentially Anthony Kay, so the Mets will have to be careful when it comes to Syndergaard and Matz.
Wheeler spent all of last July wondering if he would get traded, but ultimately remained after the Mets were underwhelmed by offers. Now he seems to understand the Mets will have almost no choice but to deal him.
Mike Francesa goes off on the hapless Mets: Fire all of em
Click Here: Pandora Jewelry
As if his live-action rant wasn’t enough, Mike Francesa wanted…
“It’s there,” Wheeler said. “The trade deadline is coming up and there is no way around it, we need to start winning some games or some guys are going to start getting traded out of here. It’s been tough for us, but I think we still have a good team.
“It’s tough, because this is where you want to win, it’s New York and these are my guys and this is the group I want to win with.”
The last two Junes of Alderson’s regime, the Mets began informing clubs they were open for business. If you needed a veteran player, particularly one with an expiring contract, it was OK to call the Mets. Players such as Addison Reed, Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jeurys Familia were dealt during those seasons, but returns were minimal in part because of the Mets’ reluctance to pay down contracts.
Van Wagenen has to do better. He can start by acknowledging this season is over and the Mets are open for business.
“We have a winning mindset and collectively we believe that everything is possible and nothing is impossible,” Van Wagenen said before the season.
But playing for that 7.4% playoff probability would just be compounding his multitude of other rookie mistakes.