The offseason is upon the New York Mets and Brodie Van Wagenen is looking to address some serious issues on the roster
Some of the bigger issues that have been swept under the rug in the past are already being addressed by the newly appointed general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. The bullpen and the catching situation are getting the most attention at the moment. Here is where Van Wagenen stands on those issues, and some others, coming out of the GM meetings.
Some bigger names have been mentioned over the last couple of days in an attempt to fill the obvious holes in the bullpen. Zach Britton, Craig Kimbrel, Adam Ottavino and Andrew Miller are among the elite relievers the Mets have shown interest in.
It is hard to tell if the Mets will seriously try and land any of these bigger names. In the past, it seemed to be an offseason tradition for the Mets to be mentioned in the same sentence as a top-tier player, only to have them snagged by another team shortly after. But, who knows how persistent Van Wagenen will be in his new role.
Landing any one of those elite relievers would be huge for the Mets, and may finally set a tone for how the front office wants the 2019 season to play out.
The catching situation
The Mets may finally be looking for outside help behind the plate. There is still no real answer as to if Travis d’Arnaud (Tommy John surgery) will be ready to go for Opening Day, and even if he is, there is no telling how reliable he will be. He doesn’t have the best track record, and he may actually be made of glass. We’re still not entirely sure.
The Mets have reportedly shown some interest in Marlins catcher, J.T. Realmuto, and have also checked in on Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos, and Martin Maldonado. There doesn’t seem to be any traction just yet, but the fact that Van Wagenen sees the catching situation as enough of an issue to even be looking elsewhere shows major signs of hope for the future.
The catching position has been a hole in the Mets lineup, offensively and defensively, for quite some time now. Addressing the issue is long overdue. Hopefully, outside help is on its way and the Mets can finally throw out a runner or two at second base.
With good comes bad
Some other highlights of Van Wagenen’s time at the GM meetings were his comments on a few players chances at making the Opening Day roster.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign of hope offered was Van Wagenen’s comments in Peter Alonso’s shot at a starting position.
Van Wagenen went to see Alonso play in the Arizona Fall League and spent some time with him, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
Brodie Van Wagenen had dinner with Peter Alonso on Saturday night. He says he plans to give Alonso every opportunity to compete for the starting first-base job this spring. "He's a piece that could help now and in the future."
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) November 6, 2018
Finally, Alonso will be getting the shot he deserves to prove to the Mets that he should be playing first base for them every day.
By now, we all know that if the Mets make one good decision, they will make ten bad ones just to make up for it.
Van Wagenen is also planning on giving another minor leaguer a chance to prove his worth this spring — Tim Tebow.
Yes, unfortunately, you read that correctly. Van Wagenen is going to give Tebow a chance at the Opening Day roster this spring, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports.
Tim Tebow is likely to begin 2019 at Triple-A, but new #Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen did not rule out the possibility that he could make the @MLB Opening Day roster. Tebow has fully healed from hamate injury, Van Wagenen said. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 6, 2018
What an absolutely terrifying thought.
Quickly moving on…
Smaller side notes
While not as important or jaw-dropping, Van Wagenen did answer some questions that were left open-ended at the conclusion of the season, along with some general updates of what has happened in the last couple of days:
- Jeff McNeil is “penciled in” as the Mets starting second baseman.
- Wilmer Flores is expected to be just fine for Opening Day, and the Mets are “counting on him” to continue to do damage against lefties.
- The Mets are reportedly not seen as a serious contender for Manny Machado.
- Amed Rosario is raking in the Japan All-Star series, finishing Thursday night only a triple shy of the cycle.
Van Wagenen was surprisingly productive during his time at his first GM meetings. It is refreshing to see some of the larger issues being addressed. Van Wagenen has paved himself a fine road for which he will start his journey with the Mets.