When the Mets were close to completing the blockbuster trade that included Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn getting shipped to the Mariners with Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano coming to New York, Jeff McNeil's name started to pop up in rumors.
If you were on Twitter the day the trade went down, there was plenty of speculation that McNeil could also be in the deal. There was then some talk that he was in the deal before the Mets pulled him out.
So what was really going in with McNeil when it came to his potential inclusion in the trade?
"I get a little bit of a chuckle out of the reports of who was in a deal versus who was not," Brodie Van Wagenen said on Tuesday while appearing on the Big Time Baseball podcast. "It's rare that a player would be offered in a deal and then the teams say 'okay, yes' and then we pull out of a deal. That's not how negotiations work."
Van Wagenen went on to explain that some of the names that leak out during trade discussions aren't necessarily available.
"I think a lot of times, teams will submit proposals on the players they would like to be included in the deal, and McNeil -- we never said yes to McNeil being in that deal," Van Wagenen said. "I know there was talk about which players we put in to a (potential) deal for J.T. Realmuto. ... Some of those reports are more about which team liked our players and which players were of high priority to them. McNeil, based on what he did last year and on what we needed in the lineup this year, continuing to try to create bat-to-ball contact as opposed to reliance solely on the home run -- it was something that we really never wanted to lose or give up in any deal this offseason."
Van Wagenen has (fairly) gotten a lot of flak for including both Kelenic and Dunn in the deal with the Mariners -- and some of that flak started even before Cano underwhelmed and Diaz lost his job as closer.
Regarding Realmuto, Van Wagenen was referring to the Mets' conversations with the Marlins that happened before Miami lowered their asking price and instead dealt Realmuto to the Phillies.
In talks with the Mets, the Marlins were reportedly asking for two of Amed Rosario, Michael Conforto, or Brandon Nimmo in exchange for Realmuto -- an insane ask that looks even crazier now with the emergence of Rosario.
As for McNeil, the Mets are being rewarded for holding on to a player who burst onto the scene in 2018 as a 26-year-old rookie and has been one of the best hitters in baseball in 2019.
McNeil is hitting .333/.402/.530 with 15 homers and 32 doubles in 107 games this season as he battles Christian Yelich, Anthony Rendon, and Bryan Reynolds for the National League batting title.