Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Sure, you're hyped for some Mets free agent or trade action at the upcoming Winter Meetings. But unless the club pulls off a surprise blockbuster move, the most newsworthy Mets stuff coming out of San Diego might be the first public appearance by a club bigwig since the announcement of sale negotiations with billionaire Steve Cohen.
When Brodie Van Wagenen steps in front of cameras and reporters, there will be lots to discuss, far beyond how to fix that horrid bullpen.
We'll see what Van Wagenen says. It's one of six Mets things to watch at the Winter Meetings.
Meanwhile, the Mets have plenty of roster work to do, too, especially if they believe an 86-76 team that's already lost Zack Wheeler to a division rival can have a say in the National League playoff picture. Wheeler and his new Philly teammates are gearing up and the Braves have already added talent.
Here's a look at five other things that should be on BVW's San Diego checklist:
Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Wheeler and Steven Matz all made at least 30 starts last season - only 55 other pitchers across baseball also accomplished the feat. That quartet plus Jason Vargas and Marcus Stroman combined to make 154 of the Mets' 162 starts (95%). Rotation health and durability is, obviously, precious. It's also not guaranteed. In addition to adding a Wheeler replacement (Rick Porcello, perhaps?), the Mets need to start brewing rotation depth, too, just in case.
Penning a solution
The bullpen, of course, is all tied in to their rotation work. Maybe Seth Lugo shifts to the rotation and the Mets plaster the 'pen with arms. One thing is clear - simply hoping for bouncebacks from Edwin Díaz and Jeurys Familia is no relief plan, so expect the Mets to at least continue legwork on bullpen help at the meetings, even if they don't come home with a finished relief corps. Blake Treinen, Josh Hader and Dellin Betances are some of the names with sizzle factor. Do any figure into Met plans?
The Defense (better not) rest:
In the release the Mets put out following the acquisition of Jake Marisnick, Van Wagenen acknowledged improving the Mets' glovework is in the offseason plans. Thank goodness. Center was a spot the Mets could upgrade, and Marisnick, a fleet flycatcher with one of the best throwing arms in baseball, qualifies. We should hear from Van Wagenen on how the club plans to deploy Marisnick. Is he the starting center fielder? Marisnick has a career OPS of .635 against righties and .701 versus lefties.
Does acquiring Marisnick mean the Mets are done in center? Another vital tidbit we need to hear from Van Wagenen - what are his other plans to enhance the defense, since that is always a nice complement to nifty starting pitching?
Yo, what's up?
We saw the BP video (thanks, Endy!) before it was taken down. What did it mean? Back at the Carlos Beltrán press conference, BVW said it was "too early to tell" if Cespedes will contribute next season. Any further clarity now? If Cespedes can play, that sure is a lot of outfielders clogging up Citi Field, which might mean, well, see the next category.
A Brodie surprise?
The move that probably defines Van Wagenen's tenure so far is the stunner that brought Díaz and Robinson Cano to Citi Field in a trade that cost, among others, highly-regarded prospect Jarred Kelenic. With a bunch of outfielders and perhaps a need to move contracts to use the money elsewhere, maybe Van Wagenen has another out-of-the-box move coming.
Could they attach cheap, attractive players such as Dom Smith or J.D. Davis to Jed Lowrie or Familia, as The Athletic has suggested? Would any other team want to take on the contract of Familia or Lowrie? Van Wagenen and his lieutenants are creative. They may have to be.