2019 Mets: My Agent Is Now My GM

redsoxdan

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Mets lose their 7th in a row, this time up 3-2 in the 8th and Lugo gives up back to back HRs to Markakis/Riley, then they strand the tying and winning runs at 2nd/3rd in the 9th, but the Metsiest moment of the day was that in their big 50th anniversary celebration of the 1969 title team, they listed two players on the Memoriam list on the scoreboard who are still alive.

Then they went and outMetsed themselves with the apology

 

DanoooME

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Well, if they ever needed another team to contract with the Rays, this franchise would get my vote.
 

jon abbey

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"On the morning of April 29, Edwin Diaz held a 0.84 ERA, with eight saves in eight chances.

Since that time: 22.2 IP, 7.94 ERA, 10 saves, four blown saves, 1-6 record"
 

jon abbey

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"A tumultuous Mets season took another strange twist, with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen punctuating a heated meeting with the team’s coaching staff by throwing a chair, according to club sources.

The incident occurred following Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Phillies in which closer Edwin Diaz imploded in the ninth inning, allowing four runs in his latest meltdown.

An irate Van Wagenen assembled manager Mickey Callaway and the coaching staff in the coaches room immediately after the game, according to a source, and lashed out at the individuals present, bemoaning the fact Jacob deGrom’s strong performance had been wasted. Accompanying Van Wagenen at the meeting was assistant GM Allard Baird.

After ripping the coaches, according to a source, the usually mild-mannered Van Wagenen picked up a chair and threw it and told Callaway to go conduct his “f–king press conference.” Callaway provided no hint that anything was amiss as he met with reporters following the loss.

Van Wagenen, reached by phone before the Mets faced the Phillies on Saturday, wouldn’t confirm or deny the incident."

 

jon abbey

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"The Mets are a terrible defensive team. The execrable bullpen is a more overt culprit in explaining how a team with expectations could begin the holiday weekend with a better record than only one other NL club.

The bad glove work, though, has contributed to undermining the pitching. Statistically, the Mets were fourth worst in the majors in turning balls put into play into outs. Tacitly, there may be a cascading negativity. One member of the team told me he thought pitchers were impacted in pitch selection and how they attacked hitters because they were concerned in letting the ball be put in play.

Fangraphs has the Mets as the majors’ worst overall defensive team. The stats corroborate the eyeball test when it comes to this team and fielding."

 

jon abbey

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So many baseball books these days, please please someone give us a good one on the era of Brodie.

The Cano trade is another one where it could not look worse now in literally every component:

"The Mets and Mariners finalized and announced a blockbuster deal on Monday, sending eight-time All-Star Robinson Canó and standout closer Edwin Díaz to Flushing. In exchange, the Mets are shipping outfielder Jay Bruce, relievers Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista, and prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to Seattle."

Kelenic and Dunn both are 1st round pick top 100 prospects who have both continued to rocket up the prospect rankings since the deal, #24 and #67 at mlb.com now. Both played in tonight's Futures game.
Diaz we know about, on top of everything he is going to start to get pricy fast in arbitration next year with all of his saves.
Cano looks cooked and pretty uninterested and is blocking a much much better player in McNeil (who NY already had), pushing him to the OF.
Bruce and Swarzak SEA routed on to the Mets' competition, both have hurt the Mets head to head but Bruce especially has been killer, two more HRs today against the Mets. One of the Mets beat writers tweeted today "It’s like the Mets threw Jay Bruce as far away as they could, but he boomeranged around the Space Needle and came flying back to smack them in the head."

Also MLB Trade Rumors just put up a poll asking people which team they thought might win the NL. There are 13 possibilities, every team in the league except MIA and NYM. Oof.

 

jon abbey

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And to add on to the Cano deal, when it happened, part of the rationale was that the NL would have the DH as soon as 2020 so Cano and his diminishing range could finish his bloated contract there. Well, today Manfred said that the DH in the NL was off the table until at least 2022, and maybe not even then. Once again, good job Brodie!!!
 

DanoooME

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The Mets should tell everyone to get deGrom or Thor, they have to take on Cano's deal.

And in a small bright spot in the Cano deal, Gerson Bautista has been getting hammered in AAA.
 

jon abbey

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The aforementioned Travis 'Babe' D'Arnaud with 3 HRs for the Rays tonight to singlehandedly win in Yankee Stadium, the Mets even get mocked after Yankee losses now. The timeline here since Boy Genius Brodie took over:

11/6/18: "One additional note on the catching market: Brodie Van Wagenen says he reasonably expects Travis d'Arnaud to be good to go by Opening Day. That would be 11.5 months post-Tommy John surgery, but the Mets believe he's on the proper track."

  • re-signed by NY Mets 12/22/18 for $3.5M (avoided arbitration)
(Also remember this decision to keep D'Arnaud and also sign Wilson Ramos for 2/18 pushed Devin Mesoraco into retirement after Brodie wouldn't release him from playing in AAA, total dick move that is almost always acquiesced to when requested by vets. All Mesoraco was was just the catcher of choice for DeGrom in his dominant Cy Young season that just ended, well done all around)

Then the Mets gave Neo-Babe a whopping 23 ABs and released him on April 28 (still on the hook for his salary), the Dodgers picked him up for a few days but they have tons of catchers already, and the Rays picked him up in early May in a catcher shortage crisis and he has been their main guy even with Zunino back. Amazingly after the game tonight he said "when I got to 50 ABs, he's not sure why but something clicked." Again, the Mets gave him 23 after waiting on his talent for years. Good call, Brodie!

Really if you had a time machine, went forward half a season to see exactly how guys developed, then went back and tried to make the worst possible moves you could given that knowledge, you would not end up with much of a worse offseason than Brodie has ("Jed Lowrie just disappears into the Ellsbury Triangle? Need to remember to sign him over LeMahieu").

Although recently as far as Brodie's potential paths from here, I have been thinking about how AJ Preller also absolutely tanked his first year for SD disastrously, and then had the self-awareness to change tactics and he has built an incredible system since then. BVW came into a tough situation, with Atlanta so well positioned with young studs, hitters/pitchers both, NatsTown loaded as usual, and the Phillies spending wildly to try to get in there too. I don't know what the answer is (besides get the Wilpons to sell) and the Wheeler news today is another likely blow, but if I were BVW, I (would not have taken the job) would definitely be seeing how much I could get for Syndergaard, I think you could maybe get a bidding war going and get quite a bit. I think he is right back to an ace on a real team, certainly a big improvement for anyone's top 4.

Although if I were a Mets fan (as my brother inexplicably is, despite growing up a Yankee fan and marrying a hardcore Sox fan), I would be scared shitless of any deal Cashman and Brodie agreed on. Cashman does to DiPoto routinely what DiPoto did to Brodie in the Cano/Diaz deal (on a much smaller scale admittedly).
 
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sean1562

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Man I didnt even realize the Mets had signed Jed Lowrie. It is a shame he is so injury prone, he would have been a star if he could have stayed healthy in his 20s.
 

jon abbey

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Again, the underlying issue with the Mets on the field continues to be abysmal team defense, worst in MLB according to Fangraphs.

Just now, scoreless against the Giants in the bottom of the 10th, SF up, two outs, runner on first. Pop up to short left, Dominic Smith (a 1B who I think never played the OF until very recently) lets it drop, the runner scores from first, and Jacob deGrom questions himself for re-signing here yet again.

Edit: I am slightly wrong on Dom Smith's OF history, 90 innings last year and 200 this year. The point that he is a first baseman and not a left fielder remains, the announcers just said he lost a game like this in the 13th last year also. Mets!
 

jon abbey

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I mean, you couldn't make this stuff up:

"All spring, the Mets declined to use Dominic Smith in left field, even after Smith came to them asking for reps at that position. They said no. Flash forward four months, and Smith is their regular left fielder. It's an unfair ask to expect him to be perfect."
 

jon abbey

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Great piece by Joel Sherman just now on the baffling-to-everyone Mets:

"Mets ownership talked to a dozen candidates to succeed Sandy Alderson. Eleven recommended a rebuild on some level. One did not. Who do you think got the GM job?"

"The mindset of this organization from the top is to always see the half-full scenarios when it comes to self-assessment because ownership so badly wants contention."

 

Gdiguy

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Great piece by Joel Sherman just now on the baffling-to-everyone Mets:

"Mets ownership talked to a dozen candidates to succeed Sandy Alderson. Eleven recommended a rebuild on some level. One did not. Who do you think got the GM job?"

"The mindset of this organization from the top is to always see the half-full scenarios when it comes to self-assessment because ownership so badly wants contention."
I'm surprised that people find this baffling at all. Fred Wilpon is 82, and the '86 world series win was when he was a minority owner - pitching a 5 year rebuilding plan to an 82 year old owner sounds to me like a pretty poor reading of the room. (and, of course, that's ignoring the fact that it's a bit self-serving for a GM candidate to recommend a rebuild - of course you would, then you have a couple years where you're already saying the team won't be good and pushing off the time when you'd actually have to show success).

Now whether that's actually a really poor strategy is a legitimate argument, but I don't find it confusing in the least.

*edit

Not to belabor this further here, but - the Mets were projected as a (exactly) 500 team by Fangraphs pre-season, and have underperformed by 5 wins (which is not crazy error for those). If they had over-performed by 5 instead, they'd be tied with Philly and a game back of Washington. From a lot of these stories you'd think they're Miami or Detroit-level terrible, but the truth is that the idea that they could be a wild-card team this year wasn't this ludicrous notion
 

jon abbey

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I mean, that makes sense, but most owners are very old. Peter Angelos is 90, does that mean Baltimore should have hired a GM who would go for it now? Brodie told the Wilpons what they wanted to hear and the results have been disastrous so far (the Stroman deal in a vacuum I think is OK).
 

jon abbey

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The Mets break a 1-1 tie in the 9th again at the White Sox (nice deGrom/Giolito duel) and win their sixth in a row. They are still 4.5 out in the wild card at 52-55 with four other teams in between, but all of a sudden they have the best 1-5 rotation in baseball, deGrom, Syndergaard, Stroman, Wheeler and Matz (complete game shutout last start). Reality will likely come crashing in before too long, but six in a row and that rotation and it's easy to dream again.
 

jon abbey

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"METS' POSTSEASON CHANCES, ACCORDING TO FANGRAPHS

After a win tonight: 19.5 percent
Last Wednesday: 3.9 percent"
 

DanoooME

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It's a shame, the Mets have talent. It's just so badly misaligned and they are like the mid-80s Expos where they are carrying dead spots in the lineup despite having a lot of good players. They've totally screwed up the catching situation, as JA has pointed out on multiple occasions. They are playing the corpses of Robbie Cano and Todd Frazier. At least Frazier will be (should be?) gone after this season. So they are forcing one 1B to 2B and another to LF (Dominic Smith when healthy). They've been playing Jeff McNeil everywhere, which isn't helping his glove develop. They have good corner OF when healthy (Conforto, Nimmo), but don't have a CF that can hit and field at a decent clip. Rosario isn't developing as expected either with the bat or the glove. Alonso has exceeded expectations at this point. The rotation is potentially really good. The bullpen is a tire fire, but on paper it really didn't look too bad to start the year and could turn it around.

The problem is they need to realign the talent they have. They should have sent Wheeler and Dom Smith out of town and gotten a useful CF. Staple Todd Frazier to the bench, move McNeil to 3B and leave him alone. Rosario deserves more chances. Unfortunately they have to play Cano. They do have Hechiaverria to replace him defensively in the late innings when they have a lead. JD Davis is a useful bench player. They are stuck with the catching situation for another year. I can see where they thought they could compete, but the team's talent is just badly configured, they haven't gotten many breaks, and they have a manager and GM that aren't helping.
 

jon abbey

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It's a shame, the Mets have talent. It's just so badly misaligned and they are like the mid-80s Expos where they are carrying dead spots in the lineup despite having a lot of good players. They've totally screwed up the catching situation, as JA has pointed out on multiple occasions. They are playing the corpses of Robbie Cano and Todd Frazier. At least Frazier will be (should be?) gone after this season. So they are forcing one 1B to 2B and another to LF (Dominic Smith when healthy). They've been playing Jeff McNeil everywhere, which isn't helping his glove develop. They have good corner OF when healthy (Conforto, Nimmo), but don't have a CF that can hit and field at a decent clip. Rosario isn't developing as expected either with the bat or the glove. Alonso has exceeded expectations at this point. The rotation is potentially really good. The bullpen is a tire fire, but on paper it really didn't look too bad to start the year and could turn it around.

The problem is they need to realign the talent they have. They should have sent Wheeler and Dom Smith out of town and gotten a useful CF. Staple Todd Frazier to the bench, move McNeil to 3B and leave him alone. Rosario deserves more chances. Unfortunately they have to play Cano. They do have Hechiaverria to replace him defensively in the late innings when they have a lead. JD Davis is a useful bench player. They are stuck with the catching situation for another year. I can see where they thought they could compete, but the team's talent is just badly configured, they haven't gotten many breaks, and they have a manager and GM that aren't helping.
I agree with all of this except Dom Smith got hurt last week and is now on the IL with a stress reaction in his foot, possibly out for a while. They should have moved him long before that, though.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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The Mets break a 1-1 tie in the 9th again at the White Sox (nice deGrom/Giolito duel) and win their sixth in a row. They are still 4.5 out in the wild card at 52-55 with four other teams in between, but all of a sudden they have the best 1-5 rotation in baseball, deGrom, Syndergaard, Stroman, Wheeler and Matz (complete game shutout last start). Reality will likely come crashing in before too long, but six in a row and that rotation and it's easy to dream again.
I'll put the 'Stros rotation up against this. I actually unposted this same thought after Greinke was traded to Houston, but realized the Astros don't have a #5 guy.

Their #5 guy threw most of a No-Hitter last night
 

DeadlySplitter

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they also don't get the face the moribund Pirates or White Sox again. their remaining road schedule admittedly looks alright, but they still have the Indians, Cubs & Dodgers at home.