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 hopes to check off some of the Mets' needs, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...
Vincent Palma (via e-mail): If the Pirates have interest in Brandon Nimmo, it seems like there should be a lot of options to make a deal with them. Who do you think is Van Wagenen's target?
Van Wagenen has interest in outfielder Starling Marte. They have also been linked to Pirates pitcher Chris Archer. Adding these two players, plus signing a reliever like Dellin Betances, would more or less complete Van Wagenen's offseason to-do list within minutes.
However, having talked with insiders aware of Pittsburgh's goals, they're not trying to build a deal around getting back just Nimmo. He has three years of control, all of which he's eligible for arbitration. Instead, they prefer zero-to-three guys or top prospects that best serve their rebuild. In addition, they are seeking a young, big-league ready catcher, which the Mets don't have in their system.
Therefore, to get both Archer and Marte in the same trade, while also topping isolated proposals from other teams, Van Wagenen will need to give up prospects, plus Nimmo or -- more likely -- J.D. Davis.
The other way to go would be to give up Nimmo and -- in return for them taking Jed Lowrie or Jeurys Familia -- the Mets send infield prospect Andres Gimenez and, say, pitcher David Peterson. My hunch is most fans would be against it, but fair is fair.
Tommy L (via e-mail): Is Brodie Van Wagenen serious about trading Brandon Nimmo? He had a breakout in 2018 and only suffered in 2019 because he was injured. I think he's making a big mistake if he gives up on him.
As is usually the case, I'm sure everyone is on the table. And, just because a report comes out saying he's open to dealing a specific person, keep in mind the Pirates could have leaked Nimmo's name to try and draw in other teams that might have interest in their players. There's always a motive.
To answer your question, though, I would not trade Nimmo.
He struggled during the first few weeks last season. He then hurt himself and could never get back on track. However, when he returned from being on the injured list for three months, he looked exactly like the breakout player he was the previous season. I have total faith he will pick up next season where he left off last September.
Nimmo's near .400 OBP is 10th-best in baseball since 2017 and that his total WAR, 4.5, was third-best among all NL outfielders in 2018. I also would not trade him because he's an amazing, fun, inspirational, homegrown player.
His personality and smile give him the potential to be an all-time fan favorite even if he isn't an All Star or the most productive player in team history. This type of upbeat, inspirational character and contributor is rare and can have value to a franchise beyond what they do on field...
Lowell Korman (via Twitter): Will the sale rumors significantly impact the offseason strategy? Spend more to go out a winner or just save the cash to keep it with them when they aren't there anymore?
The only announcement that has been made is that the Wilpons are negotiating a deal that will sell a major stake in the team to billionaire investor Steve Cohen. Otherwise, everything else has been hearsay and reports. And, even if a deal is reached, there is still work to be done before a transition of power and finances.
"There is a lot of road to travel between negotiating or even reaching a deal and then getting baseball and league owners to approve the switch in control," a league source explained.
For instance, in recent history, it took more than a year for the Dodgers and roughly six months for Royals to go from negotiated deal to having a new person in control of team decisions.
Van Wagenen was asked on Monday at the Winter Meetings how the potential sale could impact things, and his response was that for now, things were "business as usual."
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.