Mets new GM Brodie Van Wagenen is already living up to his mission statement from his own introductory press conference: "We will win now, we will win in the future." And on Tuesday, he spoke at another press conference, this time to introduce his first acquisitions in Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.
It was a move many were surprised to see as Van Wagenen's first deal in his new role. But he wants to make his team better immediately for the 2019 season, and Van Wagenen knows that is going to mean making some big decisions like this one.
"I didn't leave my previous post to be bashful or shy in this job," Van Wagenen told SNY's Steve Gelbs.
With this move, Van Wagenen is also starting to change the Mets' strategy and culture of building their roster each season. Cano and Diaz are two proven players that saw consistent production in 2018. And Van Wagenen even said "our players are energized" by the move, as he has gotten calls and texts from current Mets who loved the deal.
Unlike offseason moves in the past, Van Wagenen isn't trying to bank on his new pieces to have a breakout season, or emulate seasons of the past. With this move, he is proving he wants the Mets to stray away from the what-ifs.
"One of the things that I think this club suffered from the last couple years was putting a lot of weight into 'ifs' " Van Wagenen said. "If player X is healthy, if player X rebounds to have another year, if we have a breakout season from a young player. My goal is that we try to eliminate as many 'ifs' as possible.
"To be able to have premier talent and to be able to have versatility on the roster that gives us depth so that we're not vulnerable by any one particular breakdown."
This is only the start to what Van Wagenen has in store this offseason, and the Winter Meetings next week should be interesting to watch to see if another big move is on the way. And whether or not the move comes soon or later, Van Wagenen isn't afraid of any backlash or skepticism that may come his way.
It has already happened in this Cano-Diaz deal. Van Wagenen included two first-rounders in Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic, with the latter sparking big controversy over his future potential. But there is always going to be outside noise, and naysayers that don't agree with a certain move made.
Van Wagenen won't be afraid of that because being "fearless" and "relentless like he has been preaching requires bold moves.
"No. I'm not afraid of it," Van Wagenen said about the criticism. "I think that I am willing to be successful, and willing to fail at the risk of being successful. I want people to understand that this deal isn't a short-term deal. ...We were willing to sacrifice the long-term future for the next five years."