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Brodie Van Wagenen - Will He Be An In-Your-Face GM?

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  • Conforto over Harper? Why Bryce doesn’t fit usual Mets narrative
    By Joel Sherman March 5, 2019 | 3:42pm

    PORT ST. LUCIE — The answer is not always that they are cheap.

    The miserly caricature of the Wilpons is the easy trope whenever the Mets fail to acquire a shiny object, as occurred again last weekend, when Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies. Yet these both can be true: The Mets should spend more on payroll, but also they began this offseason with 99 problems, and corner outfield ain’t one.

    “Sometimes people assume what is available is what you want and what you need,” Brodie Van Wagenen said.

    I have been asking executives and scouts the past few days, if both cost the same, who would you take the next five years: Michael Conforto or Harper? Plenty have said Conforto, and no one instantly replied Harper even when he was their choice. Now, factor in Conforto makes $4.025 million this year and cannot be a free agent until after 2021, and his value in this comparison rises.

    Plus, at some point, Yoenis Cespedes will return and — fact — even with Harper signed for $25.4 million on annual average with his 13-year, $330 million contract, Cespedes ($27.5 million) still is the most expensive per annum outfielder ever. There is no store that absorbs the unwise contracts of the past. The Mets have to live with the $58.5 million owed Cespedes through 2020.

    While Cespedes is out, Brandon Nimmo will mostly play the corner outfield. In the same age-25 season as Harper last year, Nimmo actually had a higher Wins Above Replacement. I did not ask executives/scouts about Nimmo vs. Harper the next five years — Nimmo must assemble a second strong year to fully believe in him. But as fill-ins for Cespedes, having Nimmo and the intriguing Jeff McNeil is strong.


    The only way the Mets would have considered Harper was if they could have completed an early offseason trade for J.T. Realmuto that used Nimmo or Conforto, and they talked to Miami about such permutations. But it was not until late January that the Marlins lowered requests for Realmuto. Also, I strongly believe that if the Mets offered Harper 13 years at $330 million when free agency opened, it would have emboldened his rep, Scott Boras, to shop that figure for months, trying to get more.

    What happens if the Mets wait until January and the Phillies, ready to spend “stupid” money, were just not going to be outbid on Harper? At that point, the Mets would have lost so many other opportunities.

    “No decision is made in a vacuum,” Van Wagenen said. “When it comes to our roster structure, we gather a lot of information and we use that information to make judgments. Each player on our roster comes with different information. Each player not on our roster comes with information. Clearly we decided to go a different way than to go after those two particular players for a variety of reasons.”

    The other player besides Harper was Manny Machado, who I always thought fit better for the Mets. But like the Yankees with Harper, the Mets appeared to not like Machado for reasons beyond skill. Again, we can say that was about money. But we do have to let baseball operations departments make decisions about those they do and don’t want to bring into their environment without constantly believing it is about being cheap.

    This offseason, more than ever, I heard complaints Hal Steinbrenner is cheap because the Yankees did not pursue Harper at all and Machado only tepidly. I also would not have pursued either with vigor because of concerns about giving those particular players long-term money, plus the Yankees’ payroll/roster construction.

    If you want to level “cheap” charges against the Yankees, the place was not winning for Patrick Corbin because rotation was their No. 1 area of need and Corbin their top free-agent choice. It is an organization’s right to draw a line where it is comfortable — even if it has huge financial reserves like the Yanks — and they did not want to go beyond four years for the lefty. But I could better understand the criticism that they did not at least match the six years at $140 million of the Nationals.

    I feel similarly about the Mets. A lack of financial boldness is not about Harper or Machado. Dallas Keuchel is still available and would be a meaningful upgrade from Jason Vargas at a time the NL East looks so bunched that meaningful upgrades could separate first place from fourth.

    Yet even without Keuchel, the Mets have extended payroll on players, front office and technology this offseason. And while I would not forget the Wilpon past, we have to see if Van Wagenen has motivated ownership to behave differently for now and the future. And I don’t see ignoring Harper as same old Mets.
    https://nypost.com/2019/03/05/confor...ets-narrative/

    Comment


    • I agree with the non-signing.

      Comment


      • I don't only agree with the signing, I agree with the thought process also. This team has weaknesses but with three young outfielders (two of whom have shown serious potential) spending $30MM+ on a full career of another OF isn't a great move. Plus I just don't believe Harper is worth it anyhow. Look at what he's doing already. Instead of just saying "I'm glad to be here, I'm excited about this team" he's talked more about getting Trout to come there. Just play the game and let the FO worry about Trout, or at least wait until you've been there a few months.

        Machado has a questionable enough attitude also that there's good reason not to sign him. The right move is to sign the rotation long-term and play Conforto, Nimmo, McNeil, Rosario and Alonso/Smith and THEN see where there are FA needs. There might even be strong additions in July that won't cost half of the remaining farm.

        Comment


        • Entropy! Having watched The Big Bang Theory for number of years and having listened carefully to Sheldon and Leonard, it is my opinion that the Mets have been in a state of reforming energy (entropy) for a decade. According to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics energy cannot be destroyed of created but can be transformed. That transformation can be from a positive to a negative. The 2nd Law of thermodynamics allows for a catalytic effect to reverse the transformation.

          2015 may have been the result of such a catalyst; initially you may consider the 11 game winning streak in April. That can be discounted by the .400 ball over the ensuing 9 weeks. The catalyst was the Mets rotation;

          .........................W.....L.....ERA
          DeG..................2......1.....1.27
          Harvey..............2......1.....2.50
          Colon................0......2.....1.38
          Neise................2......1.....1.66
          Syndy...............2......0.....1.23
          Matz.................2......0.....1.32

          Jun.25 -Jul 12 the Mets were 11-5 and closed to 2 GB the Nats. This motivated Alderson to prop up the roster adding K Johnson and Uribe followed by Clippard and then Cespedes. On the last day for waivers, the Mets, 6.5 games up on the Nats, added Addison Reed.

          The Mets rotation, possibly feeding off each other reversed 9 weeks of .400 ball to close on the Nats. They reversed the energy and ended the entropy. Brodie Van Wagener has energized the Mets and this may be the catalyst to put the last 3 years of losing, injury and underperformance behind us in what appears to be a very tough division.
          Last edited by yogi8; 08-Mar-2019, 04:33 PM.

          Comment


          • I think there are too many variables to pin point specific catalysts and inhibitors. In the end, talent rises to the top.

            2018, when the mets had a full squad in April, they won games. In Mid may-August, when they were plagued by injuries, they lost games. In September, when they got their players back, they won games again. No Catalyst. No Spark. Just players with natural ability in a position to capitalize together. WAR at it's finest...

            the other portion of that of course is luck, and there's no place in physics for luck, but on the ball field, lots o luck.

            Comment


            • https://twitter.com/Mets/status/
              Drew's Sig

              Comment


              • Brodie Van Wagenen Reportedly Lashes Out At Mets’ Coaches


                by CONNOR BYRNE
                6 Jul 2019 at 8:08 PM CDT

                The fun never stops for the 2019 Mets, who’ve endured a nightmarish, drama-packed campaign after starting it with playoff aspirations. Following Friday’s loss to the Phillies, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen assembled the Mets’ coaching staff, including beleaguered manager Mickey Callaway, and “lashed out” over the fact that the team wasted ace Jacob deGrom’s excellent performance, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Van Wagenen further expressed his displeasure by throwing a chair and ordering Callaway to go conduct his “[expletive] press conference,” according to Puma.

                The GM neither confirmed nor denied the incident took place, per Puma, though Anthony DiComo of MLB.com and Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News tweet that it did indeed happen. If we’re to believe these reports, this looks like just the latest strange occurrence of the season for the Mets. Van Wagenen reportedly had deGrom pulled from a start June 1 because of a hip cramp, and just two weeks ago, Callaway and left-hander Jason Vargas got into a dustup with Newsday beat writer Tim Healey. Vargas’ actions reportedly left the team’s front office “incensed” and could hasten his departure either by the July 31 trade deadline or in the offfseason.

                As with Vargas, it’s fair to wonder how much longer Callaway will continue with the organization. The club has gone a horrid 116-134 since it hired him entering last season, though that’s not to suggest he’s the lone source of blame. Led by the neophyte GM and ex-agent Van Wagenen, the Mets surely expected to wind up as deadline buyers this year. In January, when Van Wagenen was amid an aggressive offseason that was supposed to turn around the downtrodden franchise, he told the rest of the National League East to “come get us.” Three months into the season, the division has done just that.

                Among their divisional foes and the entire NL, the Mets have bettered only the rebuilding Marlins as the All-Star break approaches. At 39-49, the Mets are a whopping 13 games behind the East-leading Braves and seven back of a wild-card spot. Frustrations are boiling over as a result.

                Drew's Sig

                Comment


                • While I am no fan of Mickey's, I have no respect whatsoever for Van Bragalot. For him to go into the clubhouse and puff out his chest and basically put all the blame on the coaches for the horrid situation this team is glaring proof that he has no clue what he is doing.

                  Was it Callaway who traded the best prospects we had, plus two major league players for a washed up PED user and a headcase closer, and only get one year's salary relief to boot? Was it the coaching staff who overpaid for another headcase former closer in Familia for a role that he never was well suited for in the first place? Was it Phil Regan who pissed away 20 million on a duplicate piece who has been a no-show all year? Was it Chili Davis who signed a catcher who could not outrun my dead grandmother and who plays defense about as well as the potted ficus in the front office foyer ? Was it any other coach who signed Justin Wilson to a two year deal only to get 10 ineffective innings in over half a season?

                  Again, this is not a defense of the coaches or manager. There are definite reasons that Mickey should be gone, and Eiland has already paid for his part in this failure of a season.

                  But, for this petulant, braggadocios prick to literally throw his weight around placing blame on others for his own arrogance and incompetence is beyond the pale.

                  I don't care how much it costs, that douche needs to go, and go sooner than later. It does not appear to me that he has learned one single lesson from his numerous mistakes. Typical of a self centered jerk, it's always someone else's mistake, not his. Those with that kind of attitude rarely, if ever, get better. It's always someone else's fault.

                  We already have one of those types in charge in the spoiled brat Jeff. We now have two making the decisions.

                  *sigh* Lets Go Mets.

                  Comment


                  • So much hindsighted opinion there. The real issue here is the failed BP. The Offense has been average (18th in scoring)
                    • Edwin Diaz: Not even going to go here as we all know the resume.
                    • Familia: To me, he showed a nice rebound from the injury filled year of 2017 and showed he could handle the 8th for a team in contention. Where do you find fault in these numbers? Coming off a 2.65 ERA year where 2.78 ERA in 30 appearances as the 8th inning guy. 2017 3.60 ERA in 26 appearances (injury plagued). 2016 2.39 ERA in 78 appearances. Even his Whip, which had a high in 2017, is around his career norms last year of 1.22.
                    • Justin Wilson - 31, pitched with high pressure teams with success coming off a 3.46. Meant to be a 6th/7th inning guy, that should do just fine.
                    • Add Gsellman, Lugo, Avilan, Zmora, Drew Smith, and then minor league depth, and you've got a pretty solid pen.
                    • Finally, factor in two pitching guru's at the helm who many agree have mismanaged the team BADLY... and you'd be throwing chairs too.
                    There's a lot we can blame Brody for.
                    1. Shipping out a PRIME prospect and another HIGH prospect and not getting more salary relief in return, the lack of future is definitely on Brody.
                    2. Signing Lowrie when he had McNeil on the roster, definitely a headscratcher at the time. The lack of flexibility definitely on Brody.
                    3. Not having that Cano/Lowrie money available to bid for Kimbral hurt during the June slide.
                    That said, having every single veteran on this team underperform, that's on the manager, and you can underrstand Brody's frustration (and all of our frustrations) that Mickey just isn't getting the most out of this team that it seems she should be getting.

                    Comment


                    • This is not meant as a BVW defense, as I also found the Lowrie signing as a "headscratcher". Don't remember where I heard/read this, but it does have merit.

                      -Who had Alonso as the leading rookie of the year candidate and home run derby winner after zero MLB at-bats?
                      -Who had 1B contingency plan Dom Smith with a .939 OPS after last year's .639 OPS?
                      -Who had Jeff McNeil, with a 63 game MLB career, not just matching last year's great short sample size output, but now leading all of MLB in batting?
                      -Who had 2018 "Done as Disco" Todd Frazier putting up respectable numbers in 2019?

                      Better yet, will the person who had all of the above predicted, not just raise their hand, but please proceed to the front of the lecture hall and take over teaching the class.

                      As for your two pitching gurus underperforming, I totally agree. They could not have sucked worse at their job is they had tried to.

                      Comment


                      • 5 questions Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen should be asked when he speaks on Friday

                        The GM should be asked about the trade deadline plan, Callaway's status, and more


                        By Danny Abriano | 11:00AM

                        Click image for larger version  Name:	cut.jpg Views:	1 Size:	102.5 KB ID:	8311Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen will speak with reporters before the team opens the second half of the season against the Marlins on Friday night in Miami.

                        With the Mets at 40-50 and the trade deadline less than three weeks away, here are five questions Van Wagenen should be asked...

                        What is the trade deadline strategy?

                        With the Mets not in contention, the expectation is that pending free agent Zack Wheeler will be traded. Also on the block should be fellow pending free agents Todd Frazier and Jason Vargas. But what is Van Wagenen's strategy beyond selling off the obvious pieces?

                        Teams have recently come calling about Noah Syndergaard, with SNY's Andy Martino reporting that a trade at some point feels inevitable. While it seems likelier that Syndergaard -- who isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season -- could be moved after the season, would Van Wagenen pull the trigger now if he's blown away? What about dangling pieces like Seth Lugo and Dominic Smith? And is there any chance the Mets would go full rebuild and deal Jacob deGrom?

                        What is Mickey Callaway's job status?

                        Van Wagenen has given a couple of seemingly half-hearted votes of confidence to Callaway, who is under contract through the 2020 season. And if he was going to be removed in-season, the perfect time to do it would've been after his expletive-laced incident with Newsday's Tim Healey a few weeks ago.

                        But the recent meeting where Van Wagenen allegedly threw a chair before Callaway's postgame press conference seems to suggest that the manager could still be relieved of his duties before the season ends. As does the fact that some of his coaches have already been fired.

                        Is the team open to extending Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil in the near-term?

                        All the rage lately has been teams extending their young talent in order to buy out a couple of years of free agency. The team gets the player at a discount, while the player gets a relatively big payday well before they otherwise would. So would the Mets consider extending Alonso or McNeil soon?

                        The need is likely more pressing with Alonso, who is under team control for one fewer year since the Mets began the season with him on the 25-man roster rather than waiting the couple of weeks it would have taken to secure that extra year.

                        What is going on with Jed Lowrie?

                        Lowrie has missed the entire season up to this point, first due to a left knee capsule sprain and then due to a slight hamstring injury in mid-May that sidelined him when he was nearing a return. Since then, the updates on him have been sporadic and not very specific. The latest update was that he wasn't close to beginning a rehab assignment.

                        With Lowrie under contract through the 2020 season, knowing exactly what he's dealing with is arguably more important for next season than it is for the rest of this season.

                        Is Amed Rosario to center field really on the table?

                        Rosario has struggled badly at shortstop and the possibility of him getting time in center field has been discussed. Are the Mets serious about using him in center field? And if so, would the plan be to eventually shift him there on a full-time basis?


                        Drew's Sig

                        Comment


                        • Is Amed Rosario to center field really on the table?

                          Rosario has struggled badly at shortstop and the possibility of him getting time in center field has been discussed. Are the Mets serious about using him in center field? And if so, would the plan be to eventually shift him there on a full-time basis?


                          that is one of the things that frustrate me with the Mets....they'll throw out an idea, like trying Reyes in CF a couple seasons ago...or in this case, Rosario in CF this season...but then not actually do it...the team and isn't going to pull off a miracle finish; so why not throw him out there vs a LHP occasionally and see whether he's more Robin Yount, or more Juan Samuel out there? We have a capable backup in Hachavarria, and we are loaded with LH'd hitting outfielders that are less than marginal in CF (and by now, we know that Lagares is not the answer)...I probably wouldn't do it full time yet, but let him break the ice out there and see if its a real option or not

                          Comment


                          • I am fine with trying Rosario in CF. Just not sure if this is the moment to start. Has he really taken any reps out there? It might be better to let him spend the off season playing CF, and come into Spring Training playing the position.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by mjjm367 View Post
                              I am fine with trying Rosario in CF. Just not sure if this is the moment to start. Has he really taken any reps out there? It might be better to let him spend the off-season playing CF, and come into Spring Training playing the position.
                              In my opinion, you try him now. This season is lost so if he makes some mistakes out there so be it, his defense out there cannot be any worse than his work at SS. But it may help in deciding with some reps if it can work. If it looks like one of our other outfield conversation disasters we go into the off-season knowing CF is a hole to fill. If you go into the off-season with him as the CF and he what is the backup plan once the season starts?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by mjjm367 View Post
                                This is not meant as a BVW defense, as I also found the Lowrie signing as a "headscratcher". Don't remember where I heard/read this, but it does have merit.

                                -Who had Alonso as the leading rookie of the year candidate and home run derby winner after zero MLB at-bats?
                                -Who had 1B contingency plan Dom Smith with a .939 OPS after last year's .639 OPS?
                                -Who had Jeff McNeil, with a 63 game MLB career, not just matching last year's great short sample size output, but now leading all of MLB in batting?
                                -Who had 2018 "Done as Disco" Todd Frazier putting up respectable numbers in 2019?

                                Better yet, will the person who had all of the above predicted, not just raise their hand, but please proceed to the front of the lecture hall and take over teaching the class.

                                As for your two pitching gurus underperforming, I totally agree. They could not have sucked worse at their job is they had tried to.
                                Red is very exciting, but who still thinks that not holding off two weeks for 1 additional year of control was a smart GM move?

                                Comment


                                • saxon
                                  saxon commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  I may not have predicted how successful Alonso would be this quickly but I was all in on giving him a full shot immediately. Figured that he couldn't do any worse than the old washed up guy that they tried last year and he couldn't get any worse than what Dom had done prior to this season

                                • NY FANG
                                  NY FANG commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  yes, but the 2 weeks weren't due to lack of readiness, everyone knew he was as ready as he was ever going to be, but 2 weeks to gain a full year... you don't regret that now at 9 games under?
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