On Tuesday, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen told SNY's Andy Martino that he was open to all avenues this offseason, including the prospect of trading away the team's two top rotation arms in Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard..
Well, that's not exactly what he meant.
During his media session at the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, CA on Wednesday, Van Wagenen walked back on that claim, saying both righty aces are extremely valuable to the franchise, and a deal won't be getting done. At least, not by the end of the meetings.
"I think Jacob and Noah have been and will continue to be really important pieces in this organization," Van Wagenen said. "... I think my comments were to the same point that I would characterize all of our roster right now. We're going to continue to look for ways to improve the club. I love our starting pitching, I love our rotation right now. Seth Lugo gives us additional depth with his ability to come back into the rotation."
"I have no plans to announce a trade at the GM meetings."
So, with that out of the way, Van Wagenen touched more on what type of player he plans to go after this offseason. There is a large hole left in the llineup with Yoenis Cespedes out for a significant chunk of the 2019 season, especially considering his righty power.
While the Mets have options like 3B Todd Frazier and even top prospect 1B Peter Alonso, Van Wagenen may have to go out and bring in some reinforcement to fill the void.
"Clearly we're without Cespedes for some portion of next year, so that leaves us with a pretty significant shortage of right-handed power, but I think with Frazier coming back with a full season of health, I think he's an impact power hitter for us," he explained. "As we talked about this week, Alonso is a candidate for that position. I do think we'd like to have some versatility in the outfield with a right-handed bat, given the left-handers in [Michael] Conforto, [Brandon] Nimmo, and Jay Bruce, so I think we'd like to add some other options there or potentially even switch hitters."
And finally, Van Wagenen did some more walking back in regards to his comments about prospect Tim Tebow potentially earning a roster spot to start the season. He told MLB Network that Tebow, who is fully healed from his hamate injury, would most likely start the season in Triple-A Syracuse and wouldn't be ruled out for the Opening Day roster.
Van Wagenen stayed true to his claim that he would start the year in Syracuse, saying that's "a great next step for him."
"Knowing Tim Tebow, if you say he can't do something, he's just going to work that much harder to try to prove you wrong," Van Wagenen said. "But for Tim our full expectation is that he will start in Syracuse. That's a great next step for him. Clearly he had his season cut short last year, so his momentum was stopped a little bit, but I have every expectation that he will pick that momentum right back up."
By saying Tebow could make the 25-man roster on Opening Day, Van Wagenen corrected his statement saying he knows Tebow -- like the rest of the players invited to Spring Training -- should have that mindset coming in.
"Like any player, they go into camp with the hope that they can impact the club in that particular season and I think I would want encourage Tim to take that mindset," he said. "Not that I am expecting him to make the team out of camp, but like I said, he's a guy that is fueled by challenges and I think we're excited to get him back into camp and hopefully after a trip to Syracuse, he can prove to us and everybody in baseball that he can make an impact in the big leagues."
Van Wagenen and the rest of MLB's GMs will meet one last time on Thursday morning before heading back to their respective cities to gear up for what is anticipated to be a very active Winter Meetings next month.