The Mets officially acquired second baseman Robinson Cano and closer Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners on Monday, December 3rd. A press conference was held the next day at Citi Field to introduce the newest Mets. During the press conference new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenan stated clearly that this move was made with the mindset that more is yet to come and this is only the beginning of a bigger and broader offseason plan. What exactly that means remains to be seen but it sure has fans in a frenzy and excited for what else BVW has in store. Turns out that Brodie wasn’t kidding around as he swooped in around 2:30 am EST on Thursday, December 13th to bring back reliever Jeurys Familia, who spent the past six and a half seasons with the Mets and catapulted himself into third place on the Mets’ all time saves list. It also appears that the Noah Syndergaard trade rumors can be put to bed as BVW said that Noah is a huge part of our team and future success. Some may look at that as Brodie not getting an offer to his liking but the thought of trading Noah was pretty egregious to begin with, unless of course another team came running with a package featuring multiple major league ready prospects, which no one has, yet. Unless a team like San Diego (who is very interested in Syndergaard) comes calling with a package that begins with Fernando Tatis Jr., the Mets will be hanging onto Syndergaard.
Now what exactly should BVW do next? He’s acquired a dangerous middle of the order bat in Cano, a dominant reliever in Diaz, and brought back one of the most dominant bullpen weapons the Mets have ever had in Familia. The team could still use some thump in the lineup, rotation depth, bullpen reinforcements, and a more firm answer at the catching position. There are many avenues to go as the free agent market is flush with bullpen arms and has quite a few impact bats. The trade market may have even more options especially on the starting pitching front. There’s definitely enough options out there for everyone but we’re focused on the Mets here. With Canó and Díaz in the fold here’s what else I’d do to *realistically* help turn this team around.
#1: Sign Marwin Gonzalez – The glue guy of the Astros’ lineups the last few years hits free agency and he has something to offer every team. Gonzalez is super versatile as he can play any infield position and both corner outfield spots. After a breakout 2017 during Houston’s World Series run, Gonzalez had a down 2018 season as he batted (.247/.324/.409/.733) with 16 HR’s, 68 RBI’s, and 61 runs scored. He nursed some injuries throughout the year and I believe he’s more closer to the hitter he was in 2017 (.303/.377/.530/.907) with 23 HR’s, 90 RBI’s, 67 runs, and a 146 OPS+. He’s not terrible defensively anywhere really. Gonzalez will be 30 on opening day 2019, shouldn’t command major dollars or length in his new deal, and is a perfect fit for the Mets. The Mets can always use versatility, especially with the amount of injuries they happen to get each season. Marwin is also a switch hitter and has provided quite a few clutch moments in Houston. I’d pencil Marwin in as a steady regular to see lots of time at left field, third base, and first base. Barring injury, I don’t see him taking many reps from Cano (second base) and Amed Rosario (shortstop). Gonzalez may not be a huge name but he’s a glue guy from a championship team and all teams could use someone like him.
Something around what I would offer him: 3-4 years, $36-54 million ($12-13.5 million a year)
#2: Sign Andrew Miller – Miller is coming off a 2018 season that was riddled with injuries and saw him stumble when he was able to take the field. When healthy and on his game, Miller is a buzzsaw on the mound with impressive strikeout rates, multi inning eater, and a great track record. Once a top starting pitching prospect that was included in the infamous Tigers-Marlins blockbuster of 2007 that saw Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis go to Detroit, Miller never quite panned out as a starter but when Boston turned him into a reliever, he saw lots of success and quickly became one of the most dominant relievers in the game. It’s that bullpen dominance that made the Yankees sign him to a four-year, $36 million deal prior to the 2015 season. Continued dominance in pinstripes led to the Yanks trading Miller during a lost 2016 campaign to the Cleveland Indians. The Indians wound up trading their two top prospects at the time, outfielder Clint Frazier and starting pitcher Justus Sheffield. That may sound like an overpay and may well be, but Miller proved his worth and was one of the main reasons Cleveland made it to the 2016 World Series, albeit in a losing effort. Miller has averaged 14+ K/9 since 2013, minus 2017 where he only dipped down to 13.6 and his injury riddled 2018 where he was still striking batters out at a 11.9 K/9 clip. If the Mets can add Miller to a bullpen that already features Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman, they’d have arguably the most dominant bullpen. On top of all this, the Mets really need to add a lefty reliever. Miller is the best lefty on the market and brings a proven track record to the table. Why not go with the formula that Kansas City cooked up when they ousted the Mets in five games in the 2015 World Series?
Something around what I would offer him: 2 years, $16-18 million ($8-9 million a year)
#3: Sign Gio Gonzalez – Gio may not be the same pitcher he was when he first came up with Oakland and in his first few years with the Nats, but he’s still a quality lefty veteran who can stabilize the back-end of a rotation. In a rocky 2018 season that he split with Washington and Milwaukee, Gio pitched to a 4.21 ERA, but a majority of that was when he was still with the Nationals. After being traded to Milwaukee in August and making five starts down the stretch, Gonzalez compiled a 2.13 ERA for his new team. He even made two starts in the NLCS against the Dodgers, although neither start lasted more than 2.0 innings thanks to MLB teams playing the bullpen roulette game when the playoffs hit. Gio wasn’t terrible in either start. Gio has a top three and a top six finish in the NL Cy Young vote in his career and doesn’t surrender many homers. He’s 33, very durable (averages 34 starts a season), won’t cost much money, and won’t garner long-term deals. The Mets can’t run Jason Vargas out their every fifth day, they need someone else more trustworthy to hold down the #5 spot and I believe Gio would be perfect for that role. He won’t have to do as much heavy lifting like he was when he was one of the top guys in the Nats rotation for years. If the Mets can run out a rotation of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, and Gio Gonzalez, they’ll be in very good shape. An added bonus is the Mets won’t have to worry about Gio owning them anymore like he did as a Nats pitcher.
Something around what I would offer him: 1 Year, $5-6 million
#4: Trade for J.T. Realmuto – This is the deal that actually sounds most likely/plausible to happen because of the Mets’ need for a catcher, the Marlins selling off anything good they have, and the continued rumors everyday of how hard BVW is trying to acquire Realmuto from Miami. The love for JT is real and appropriate as he has quickly become arguably the best all around catcher in the game. Realmuto is only 27 years old and has two cheap controllable years left on his contract. Considering the position he plays, his age, his contract, and the fact that it would be an inter-division trade, it will and is going to cost the Mets a lot to acquire him. Over the last week or so there’s been a lot of reports coming out that the Mets were involved in multiple three team trade scenarios that would see Realmuto come to the Mets and possibly Noah Syndergaard to the supposed third team involved, who would then flip prospects to Miami. I think that’s all smoke and mirrors, considering the Mets would need to get back something nice in addition to Realmuto for having to sacrifice Syndergaard (three years of control remaining) and not many teams even meeting the asking price for “Thor” in regular two team trade scenarios. I do believe that the Mets do have the ammunition left to execute a trade by themselves. The Mets do not have a respectable major league catcher on the roster (sorry Kevin Plawecki, Travis d’Arnaud, and Tomas Nido). Not only do Mets catchers fail to produce at the plate but they are amongst the worst when it comes to throwing out runners and pitch framing on defense. The catchers position has been a black hole for the Mets ever since 2008, which was the first season after Paul Lo Duca left, who gave the Mets one great season and one pretty solid season. Since Lo Duca left, the Mets have gotten terrible production from their catchers. And a catcher is supposed to be one of the key cogs and a strong voice for any team and the Mets haven’t employed anyone like that in 10 years. It’s finally time to get an answer at catcher and make the lives easier for the fantastic pitching staff they’ve built. I am certainly against giving Yasmani Grandal a three to four-year contract worth $13-16 million a season, especially after the disastrous postseason he just had when he literally couldn’t even buy a hit. That’s a hard pass for me for a 30-year-old catcher who’s best days are behind him and who isn’t incredibly better than what the Mets have at catcher at the present moment. Realmuto is the answer.
Something around what I would trade for him: Realmuto to the Mets for 2B/3B Jeff McNeil, SS Andres Gimenez, and LHP Anthony Kay (this is not a concrete offer and substitutes can be made and/or added/subtracted)
What do you say, Mets fans? Would you accept this for the rest of the offseason? Sound off on Twitter or in the comments!