The Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.
As Brodie Van Wagenen prepares to wheel and deal, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...
1) Gorman (via Twitter): Seeing a lot of people including top prospect Andres Gimenez in trade scenarios. Is it because he's blocked by Amed Rosario? Who has more trade value, Rosario or Gimenez? Is Gimenez good enough to consider using Rosario to acquire a superstar?
If the people you are referring to are our fellow fans, I wouldn't worry about it because being an Armchair GM is what we are supposed to do this time of year. It's part of the fun.
That said, if you're asking whether I think Brodie Van Wagenen is open to trading his top prospects, specifically Gimenez, I think he'd trade anyone if it brings back a player he and his staff believe can help the Mets win in 2020.
In the end, though, most teams these days are very reluctant to deal their top prospects. And, since Van Wagenen has traded several away during the past year, my hunch is he'd rather keep what he can and make trades using his big league players to get other big league players.
As for Gimenez's development, because of Rosario, I expect we will see the young shortstop get more time next season in Triple-A playing second base.
2) Harrison (via Twitter): Do you think they would take a flier on guys like Jeremy Jeffress, Addison Reed, and Taijuan Walker -- all guys who could have tremendous potential and would most likely take minor league deals.
Yes. I think that may end up being all they do this winter.
3) Andrew McCarthy (via e-mail): Why is it other teams sign players to long-term contracts and a ton of money, but the Mets do not?
Don't forget, it was less than a year ago that the Mets signed Jacob deGrom to a five-year, $138 million deal. To compare, that's slightly more than what the Phillies gave Zack Wheeler and a lot less than the seven-year, $245 million deal just signed by Stephen Strasburg. I'd say the Mets did well here.
To answer your question, it is likely a combination of budget and the fact that they have so often been burned by their past free agent signings.
The latter should not be a reason to hold off on signing today's top free agents, because one technically has nothing to do with the other. However, much like if you bought five expensive cars and they all broke down on you, I can sort of understand why the Mets might be hesitant to make another big purchase.
Think about it. Who, since 2000, was the last top free agent signed by the Mets that went on to perform to the expectation of their deal and who was not already on their team?
The list probably begins and ends with Carlos Beltran and Billy Wagner.
Otherwise, five of the six most expensive contracts the Mets have ever given out were all given to players that had been on the team (David Wright, Johan Santana, Mike Piazza, Yoenis Cespedes and deGrom).
4) Mark Grisham (via e-mail): Is Van Wagenen serious? How can he possibly think his roster can be competitive in 2020? Is he even aware of what the rest of the division has done?
"We have a lot of our needs already filled" pic.twitter.com/yLzC6QI3ua- SNY (@SNYtv) December 10, 2019
I don't think he believes what he said in the above clip, which is from his talk yesterday with reporters at the MLB Winter Meetings. He has to say it, though, no matter what he has done or not done to date.
Think about it. What does it say to his current players if he does nothing to improve the Mets, but says the opposite of above? Similarly, what does it say to the fan that already bought season tickets or the business teetering on whether to buy a sponsorship in the ballpark or on TV?
The key word in the above statement to reporters is "a lot," because you and I have no idea what that means. It also depends on how many holes he felt he actually had to fill.
My advice to you is to take the path I take, which is to judge what he does with my eyes -- not my ears. Like every GM in baseball, his job is to talk in the present and give as little indication about his true intentions and where things are headed. We'll only know where things are headed when we get there.
I realize the above reads like a fortune cookie, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is a senior writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime.