Brodie Van Wagenen can’t escape his many disasters much longer
Brodie Van Wagenen come on down.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for the Mets 28-31 record and the fact they’ve lost 17 of their past 21 road games. Mickey Callaway has gotten his fair share as the manager.
Much of this Mets failure, though, can be blamed on BVW’s decisions over the winter in his first time out of the box as a GM after coming over from the ranks of player agent where it is only about winning contracts, not winning games.
If Van Wagenen were a hitter, he would be well below the Mendoza Line as the Mets open up a homestand with the gift of the punchless Giants coming to Citi Field on Tuesday night.
For Van Wagenen’s sake, the Mets need to turn it around quickly.
Van Wagenen’s decisions have been nearly universally dreadful as the 60th game of the season is on tap. His overall decision to go for it was fine, no issue with that here because it’s New York, and the Mets appeared to have a strong starting rotation, so adding a few bats and fixing a bad bullpen would make a difference in a division that did not include the Dodgers.
The NL East remains wide open — but the players Van Wagenen acquired so far have pretty much been total busts.
Van Wagenen’s best decision was to stand tall for Pete Alonso, insisting the Mets would not pull any roster shenanigans with Alonso. That enabled Alonso to blossom and lit a fire under Dom Smith, who has upped his trade value.
That’s a win-win. Van Wagenen also made some excellent key infrastructure changes within the Mets that will benefit the team in the coming years, a big plus.
The downside: The acquisition of Robinson Cano from Seattle is looking terrible and closer Edwin Diaz has had some rough times as well.
Cano is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday night and will be carrying a .241 average with just three home runs and 13 RBIs. He looked great in spring training and started the season with a home run against the Nationals’ Max Scherzer, but there has been no buzz after that. At the age of 36, Cano looks every day of it and needs to jump-start his season.
In trading for Cano and Diaz, hope was sent away with last year’s No. 1 draft pick, sixth overall, Jarred Kelenic going to Seattle along with pitcher Justin Dunn. A year out from the draft, that is a difficult loss for Mets fans to swallow. Mets fans live for hope because the reality of the current season is usually such a downer.
Kelenic, a lefty-hitting outfielder, recently was promoted to High-A Modesto and is batting .375. If Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto gets the best of a trade, that’s a bad loss.
With the Yankees out there signing roster-changing free agents like DJ LeMahieu while Van Wagenen spent his $79 million of free-agent money on relievers Jeurys Familia (one disaster after another with a 6.56 ERA) and the injured Justin Wilson, infielder Jed Lowrie, who is the Invisible Man because of injuries, aging catcher Wilson Ramos, who has yet to get on the same page with ace Jacob deGrom after four months of work, and backup outfielder Keon Broxton, who was released, there is not a success story in the bunch.
Other pitchers acquired also did not break through in any way: Luis Avilan, Walker Lockett and Hector Santiago.
Lowrie is extremely disappointing because he has yet to play a game as a Met. Van Wagenen gave him two years at $20 million — $4 million less than the Yankees gave LeMahieu. Lowrie is 35.
Then there is the ridiculous saga of Yoenis Cespedes. Van Wagenen, Cespedes’ former agent, was counting on Cespedes to give the Mets an offensive jolt after the All-Star break, then Cespedes somehow fractured his ankle on his ranch.
Don’t forget catcher Travis d’Arnaud was tendered $3.5 million only to get released. Van Wagenen’s best acquisitions so far has been J.D. Davis, who is hitting .263 but has defensive issues, and the signing of productive veteran infielder Adeiny Hechavarria.
The Mets and the Wilpons don’t spend big money. They walk the financial tightrope. Every penny, every costly mistake counts double.
Source: Read Full Article