MLB executives across the baseball land confess skepticism of New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s vision.
“I still don’t like the team on the field that much. I am not in love with it,” a National League executive said of the Mets. “But they have made significant upgrades and they will have a much better bench, so there won’t be a precipitous drop if there’s an injury, like when [Yoenis] Cespedes went down the whole team was done. They are not as good a team as Washington is on the field. You can argue with Atlanta and Philadelphia on the field. The winner is going to be the team that basically stays healthy.”
Van Wagenen, 44, is the super agent turned baseball general manager now famous for pushing along ownership’s win-now mentality. When so much of the fanbase was calling for a slower, rebuilding approach, the Wilpons pegged the unorthodox choice as the man to steer the ship full-steam ahead.
It’s led to trading a little bit of youth for win-now players such as Cano.
Once again, the team heads into a baseball campaign loaded with “ifs.” Showcasing a studly starting rotation in a new-age land that leans towards positional-playing youth (and massive pitching injuries), once again, Mets fans are hoping for rotational health.
“Contrary to what Brodie says, every team is built on ifs,” a second NL executive said. “You can’t sit there and say you are going to be ‘if-proof,’ because all it takes is one guy in any kind of rotation to go down and then what do they do?
“I think the big question with the Mets: Can they stay healthy and all their pitchers make 25-30 starts? Because they are thin behind the rotation. Good team, they have got a lot of [positional] depth. Should be right there.”
It’s the same question year in and year out. When NL Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom put forth his best season yet, the organization had a shot to trade him at his height. The return on value could have proven as monumental.
Playing devil’s advocate, unnamed execs providing quotes may be the silliest thing in the world. What does it matter when an individual doesn’t put his name next to certain stances?
Brodie Van Wagenen enters his first official regular season as front office boss of the New York Mets. Pitchers and catchers officially report for the commencement of the work season on Feb. 13.