You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Mets.
What will the Mets’ philosophy be at the trade deadline? I am concerned that Brodie Van Wagenen will be too aggressive rather than plan for a future he may not be a part of. — @Mariamb18
It’s a fair point, not only from the general manager perspective but also ownership. With the Mets for sale — and it now appearing possible the team will get sold before the end of the calendar year — this could be the Wilpons’ last chance at winning the World Series. There will be a “go for it mentality” as long as there is any kind of shot at the postseason as the Aug. 31 trade deadline approaches (and given the expanded playoffs it won’t take much to stay in contention).
That said, legacies are at stake here. If the Wilpons or Van Wagenen were to commit baseball malpractice in a hopeless situation by trading jewels of the farm system for a rental, it would never be forgotten.
As much as the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz deal that sent top prospect Jarred Kelenic to the Mariners hasn’t worked out for Van Wagenen, that was a baseball move. If this is Van Wagenen’s last season with the club (and that’s something he probably won’t know until after the fact), I would think he wants part of his legacy to be the potential high-end pieces the organization drafted and developed after the Cano/Diaz misstep.
The Mets went for it last year at the trade deadline by acquiring Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays and retaining Zack Wheeler, even though they knew there was a strong chance he would depart through free agency. So going for it this year could simply entail holding on to veteran pieces such as Wilson Ramos, Justin Wilson and Stroman and just trying to win with the group in place even if the playoffs become a long shot (which they probably won’t with this format).
Do you think the physical absence of Chili Davis is hurting the offense? (I’m not saying he’s making the wrong decision either.) — @bbhkf78
Davis, who is working remotely at home in Arizona because of coronavirus concerns, is immensely respected within the Mets clubhouse. Part of that stems from his credibility, as somebody who hit 350 major league homers, but also because of his strong communication skills.
It’s difficult sometimes to quantify the difference between working on-site as opposed to at home, but in-person is better because of the chance for random interaction. Maybe an impromptu chat with Pete Alonso would have helped the first baseman get rolling earlier. Or something Davis saw in person with Brandon Nimmo’s swing that was missed on video might have helped reduce his strikeouts. The Mets have a capable assistant hitting coach in Tom Slater, but the organization gave Davis a new two-year contract last offseason for a reason.
Who will be the Mets’ starting catcher in 2021? — @degiap01
Ramos’ contract contains a club option for next season. But if the Mets are serious about upgrading the position they need to pursue Van Wagenen’s former CAA client J.T. Realmuto, who will be the top available free agent at the position. Remember, the Mets tried to land Realmuto in a trade with the Marlins in Van Wagenen’s first offseason with the club and ultimately settled on Ramos, after they also missed on Yasmani Grandal. The Mets have a top young catching prospect in Francisco Alvarez, but he’s only 18 years old. Realmuto for three or four years to bridge the gap would strengthen the Mets immensely.
Now that Yoenis Cespedes is gone do you think the Mets will move Robinson Cano full time to DH? — @HenrySanchez
Before Cano went on the injured list with a groin injury, I would have said the Mets were best served using J.D. Davis as the primary DH. Now, with Davis’ emergence at third base, it probably makes sense to increase Cano’s appearances at DH, but moving him there permanently would squeeze out Dominic Smith. The goal will be to find a balance between maintaining Cano’s health when he returns and keeping Smith in the lineup.
How do I prevent myself from jumping out the window due to this team? — @MoofusPoofus1
The early bullpen meltdowns were jarring, and there isn’t enough depth in the Mets rotation to feel great about the starters at the moment. Steven Matz needs to perform better and the Mets could use a healthy Stroman, along with consistency from Rick Porcello.
But to directly answer your question: Watch the games in a room without windows.
Source: New York Post
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