New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen tweeted a message of thanks to fans after his first trade deadline in the big chair.
New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen didn’t fail to surprise during his first trade deadline. Expected to be a seller, he instead zigged where most expected a zag, acquiring Marcus Stroman while keeping Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Todd Frazier.
While it’s fair to question the intelligence of seemingly going for it, it’s the decision the team made. Van Wagenen also took to his Twitter account to explain his logic, and to speak of his excitement for the remaining two months of the season.
— Brodie Van Wagenen (@GMBVW) August 1, 2019
Van Wagenen repeated what has been his mantra since he was hired, saying, “We want to win now and win in the future.” He spoke about adding Stroman, saying he is “…one of the best pitchers in baseball an a guy who has New York roots. He is someone who thrives in big moments, craves the competition and wants to be a part of something great.”
Ignoring the extremely agitating decision to not use an oxford comma in his statement, Van Wagenen is right that Stroman is a top pitcher. He has a 3.76 ERA and a 1.278 WHIP, while limiting home runs to a rate of 0.8 per nine innings, a valuable skill in the era of the long-ball that we’re currently in.
Stroman is a ground ball pitcher, meaning the Mets will need to improve their infield defense to maximize his abilities. Van Wagenen did move one MLB player, trading pitcher Jason Vargas to the Philadelphia Phillies, a move he addressed in his message.
“Jason Vargas is a true pro, a great player, and it was a difficult choice to move him, but bringing in Marcus gives us one of the best rotations in baseball.”
Vargas had bounced back to put up a 4.01 ERA after a disastrous 5.77 ERA in 2018, but he will be asked to carry that success to noted bandbox Citizens Bank Park.
Van Wagenen also addressed the lack of other moves, saying he just didn’t feel that any of them would make the team better.
“We had a lot of incoming calls on a number of our other players, but at the end of the day we weren’t going to move key pieces on our club unless we felt we would be better positioned going forward.”
Ultimately, Van Wagenen felt that standing pat was the best decision for the team and that’s what he did. He also alluded to the possibility, however slim, that the team could make a playoff run in 2019.
“We are now underdogs chasing the pack. This team has had really good chemistry and positive energy dating back to Spring Training and we now have to overcome what we put ourselves up against.”
“This group has shown resiliency and has earned the right to go out and play meaningful games in the next two months and I know they’re excited to go and do that.”
Van Wagenen clearly hasn’t completely given up on the season, and he expects the team and the players to fight until the bitter end.