New York Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen Needs to be Aggressive Next Offseason

The New York Mets are going to have to try to re-sign a lot of their impact players like Marcus Stroman and Justin Wilson while determining whether to keep a lot of veterans on their squad either through club options, new deals, or letting them go. The Mets roster is relatively talented, but they don’t have much in the farm system to be ready to shed off talent for more space in the roster.

The Mets come off as a team that needs to make moves now, and I think keeping Brodie’s aggressive nature needs to continue rather than be curbed because if you think about it, before Brodie was the GM the Mets were well below .500 for two years straight, and while Diaz hasn’t panned out yet, his 2.63 SIERA (Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average) shows there is more than hope for him and that Van Wagenen probably will look better for this move this year.



Address the Starting Pitching

Yes, you have Jacob deGrom and next year Noah Syndergaard, but Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha? All could depart this offseason, and so you need to start designing and adding to the rotation or else you’re going to lose a key element to your success; your starting pitching

I think the Mets should consider whether they will bring back Stroman or not (remembering Syndergaard will be a free agent in 2021) and if they will add even more pitching to supplement the return of Stroman. You have to consider the Yankees’ lefty James Paxton as an option but I think he and Stroman would be too expensive as the Mets have other issues to address, so a guy like Jake Odorizzi could be an option as well as a 3rd or 4th starter.

If you want cheaper options than even that you have solid #4 or #5 pitchers like Anthony DeSclafani who is a career 4.03 SIERA pitcher and had a 3.95 DRA in 2019, DRA (Deserved Run Average) which factors the park, quality of opponent, pitch framing, and even temperature. This stat is a stat that boils down a pitcher’s pure skill and for a guy who will probably sign for 2 years $15 million? A high 3 ERA guy is a pretty good bargain to pair with Stroman to make a rotation that is still well above average, and it’d add around $27.5 million to your payroll total because Stroman probably signs for around $20 million a year, but what about the lineup?

Bring in an Outfield Power Bat

Yes, I know the New York Mets traded for the defensive stud Jake Marisnick but the issue is he’s awful offensively so he’s a liability at the plate, but if you put Nimmo in CF then yes you have a liability in the outfield defensively but you still have his offense and total value. This doesn’t mean they can’t get better in the corner outfield spot not occupied by Conforto? I think they can.

With Cespedes’ absurd $29 million off of the books after this year, we were able to spend $27.5 million on starting pitching, meaning right now we have an around $103,500,000 dollar payroll before arbitration currently. I think the New York Mets have around $40 million max. to spend on impact position players, so we have to sign realistic players and not just try to blow all of our cash on Mookie Betts. Despite the limitations, how about Marcell Ozuna?

Marcell Ozuna is an outfielder for the rival Braves but he has a ton of potential and his expected stats show that he can be a lot better than the 107 and 109 wRC+ numbers we’ve seen in his stint with St. Louis. In 2019 despite his .336 wOBA, Ozuna had a .389 xwOBA in 2019 with xSLG of .548 and an Exit Velocity (of the top 5% of his hard-hit balls) were at 111.4 MPH, one of the best marks in the league. He also is a good defensive corner outfielder at 8.6 UZR/150 in LF in his career and 24.1 UZR/150 in RF but in a smaller sample size.

You’d be getting what I think is a 4 fWAR 130 wRC+ caliber player and you could get him for $22 million a year at 30 for 6 seasons. He’d make that lineup a lot scarier and would be a great fit for the NEw York Mets.

Polishing Touches

I’ve discussed before letting Wilson Ramos walk and bringing in Jason Castro who put up a .364 xWOBA and is a much better framing catcher, who would cost around $7 million for the Mets over two seasons and allows the Mets to continue to develop catching prospect Fransico Alvarez for the next two seasons.

The Mets need to make sure they retain the likes of Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson which would cost around $25 million to do and factoring me guessing a $35 million total in arbitration and $10 million for the rest of the roster, the Mets would have a ~$195.5 million payrolls, and while yes that is pretty high, it’s still about $ 14.5 million below the luxury tax threshold for 2021 which would be set at $210 million. The next offseason they’d need to bring back Syndergaard and Conforto BUT they’d be off of Familia’s 17.6 million dollar deal and off of $17.6 million in Luxury Tax salary that they’ve bee owing to David Wright so that should help create more cap space.

Evaluating the Mets After These Moves

Assuming we are back to a 26 man roster in 2021, this is what the team would look like:

  1. Brandon Nimmo CF
  2.  Michael Conforto RF
  3. Jeff McNeil 3B
  4. Pete Alonso 1B
  5. Marcell Ozuna RF
  6. JD Davis DH
  7. Robinson Cano 2B
  8. Jason Castro C
  9. Amed Rosario SS

For the bench I decided on these 4 being the best candidates:

Dominic Smith 1B/LF/RF
Tomas Nido C
Luis Gillmore IF
Melky Cabrera OF

Now for the Mets’ rotation, new and improved:

  1. Jacob deGrom
  2. Noah Syndergaard
  3. Marcus Stroman
  4. Anthony DeSclafani
  5. Steven Matz

And then the bullpen:

Paul Sewald
Robert Gsellman
Justin Wilson
David Peterson
Jeurys Familia
Seth Lugo
Dellin Betances
Edwin Diaz

I think this team would be an easy division favorite, I mean did you see how deep that lineup was? The rotation is good and that bullpen is great, and if the Mets follow this blueprint, they’ll be hosting a World Series trophy over their head in this decade.

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