Consider this sequence of occasions, by no means out of the realm of risk:
- The 2020 Major League Baseball season doesn’t launch, resulting from circumstances both inside or past the house owners’ and gamers’ management.
- The Wilpons lastly promote the Mets.
- The Mets’ new proprietor opts to rent a brand new normal supervisor for 2021.
Don’t fret for Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets’ present GM. His contract, assured, takes him via 2022. Yet if his tenure as a baseball operations boss will get abbreviated to one thing that may very well be captured in a Quibi documentary, what would we make of it?
Let’s hope for society’s sake that baseball does occur this 12 months, that Van Wagenen receives extra video games to check his work. No matter what occurs, nonetheless, the agent-turned-executive already has established a legacy of types:
Whether he sinks, swims or simply winds up shortened, Van Wagenen will achieve this betting on himself.
At his introductory information convention at Citi Field in November 2018, Van Wagenen, describing what life could be like underneath him, dropped three adjectives that stood out: fearless, relentless and proactive. Later that day, he traded Jarred Kelenic and 4 different gamers to the Mariners for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.
(Yes, sure, the blockbuster commerce really occurred a few month after his hiring. The quarantine has messed with our sense of time, am I proper?)
That megadeal after all endured a disastrous first 12 months — Cano and Diaz combining for minus-Zero.2 wins above alternative whereas Kelenic, the sixth-overall choose of the 2018 newbie draft, soared up Seattle’s system in addition to the business prospect rankings.
Jeurys Familia’ return wound up extraordinarily not triumphant, and Jed Lowrie disappeared for such a very long time that folks started mistaking him for Carl Pavano. “Come get us,” the problem Van Wagenen issued to the remainder of the National League East in the offseason, changed into “They came and got us” by July.
However, that very same aggressive mentality compelled Van Wagenen to start 2019 with Pete Alonso as his first baseman, service-time manipulation be damned, and commerce a pair of pitching prospects to the Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman on July 28, when the Mets owned a 50-55 document. Stroman helped the Mets flip their season round to the tune of an 86-76 exhibiting, a nine-game enchancment from ’18, and an accompanying enhance in attendance of greater than 200,000.
Submit your Mets questions right here to be answered in an upcoming Post mailbag
J.D. Davis, acquired from the Astros by Van Wagenen, performed an necessary position in that surge, supporting ace Jacob deGrom, who received his second straight NL Cy Young Award after signing a five-year, $137.5 million extension proper earlier than Opening Day.
Van Wagenen’s dedication to his personal perception system cemented itself, in my view, when commissioner Rob Manfred launched his scathing report on the 2017 Astros in January. As it grew to become clear inside days that the Mets needed to half methods with their new supervisor Carlos Beltran, Van Wagenen may have emulated the Astros and employed a relaxing graybeard outsider like Dusty Baker. Instead, having put in a pair months’ value of labor with Beltran and his teaching employees, the GM elevated quality-control coach Luis Rojas, 38 years outdated and a rookie big-league skipper, to the supervisor’s workplace.
It all would possibly work sufficiently or won’t. The workforce seemed nice throughout spring coaching earlier than the world shut down. Since then, Noah Syndergaard’s Tommy John surgical procedure weakened the Mets’ beginning rotation, designed to be their forte, and dropped their FanGraphs projection to 85-77, three video games behind the Nationals and two behind the Braves in the NL East. An 82-game schedule, as is the present hope, would create extra variability among the many outcomes.
The Mets are thrilling and related as soon as extra in the wake of their 2017-18 funk. They may lastly nab their first championship since 1986. The entire operation may flip into idiot’s gold if Cano continues growing older quickly, Diaz actually owns a New York-phobia, Kelenic honors his hype and so forth.
If we get even a half-season, the Mets shall be one of many recreation’s most fascinating groups and Van Wagenen one of the compelling executives. His baseball acumen stays “to be determined,” maybe completely so. What now we have decided, in his comparatively transient time doing this, is that he received’t cheat himself in this golden alternative.