Van Wagenen Has No Room For Harper, Machado, And Maybe Postseason

During his interview with Mike Franceca on WFAN, he would speak about the team, and he would be challenged by Mike on a number of issues. As the General Manager, you can understand Van Wagenen trying to sell the fan base about the team. It is part and parcel of his job.

In some ways, he did effectively did that. He touted the combination of Peter Alonso and J.D. Davis as capably hitting 30 home runs combined from the first base position. He also reminded fans of this being a versatile team with Todd Frazier and Robinson Cano being able to play first base if necessary. This would also allow the team to play Jed Lowrie and have him bat second in the lineup every day.

Behind some of the bravado, some of Van Wagenen’s early bravado began to erode away, and you saw someone who is trying to sell an incomplete roster. We saw this through two telling exchanges. The first notable one regards Bryce Harper and Manny Machado:

Essentially, Brodie is going to have us believe the team has no room for Machado on the infield. Now, you could argue even with Amed Rosario being disappointing thus far, he is primed to break out next season. He can also point to there already being solid to very good veteran infielders. That’s fair. However, he loses us completely at Harper.

This is a team with just two starting outfielders in Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo. For all of their defensive prowess, neither Keon Broxton or Juan Lagares can’t hit. As for Jeff McNeil, the Mets apparently believed in him so much they aggressively pursued two other All-Star second baseman to play over him.

The Mets will tell you he’s now going to be an outfielder. That’s all well and good, and we all hope he can make the transition. However, no matter how good he is, he is no Bryce Harper.

That’s important due to the second pertinent exchange. When Mike asked if the Mets were better than the Vegas line of 84 wins, Van Wagenen was sure of himself saying, “I think 84 wins is light.”  When pressed on whether this was a 90 win team, Van Wagenen was less assured, and he would not commit to the 90 win figure.

That’s very problematic.

Looking at the history of the Wild Card, the lowest win total for a National League Wild Card was 87 wins. That honor belongs to the 2016 Mets and Giants and the 2017 Rockies. No Mets fan wants to see a repeat of Madison Bumgarner and Conor Gillaspie in a winner-take-all game.

Really, if you are in the 84-89 wins range, you are in the postseason race, but you are towards the bottom of that race. That’s not where you want to be with the Nationals, Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Rockies boasting good rosters of their own. And don’t forget the Phillies who are still in a position to pounce on a player or two in what is still a bizarrely loaded free agent class.

When you boil it down, Van Wagenen can be boastful all he wants, but he’s essentially admitted this is an incomplete team. Worse yet, he’s admitting after trading away Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Luis Santana, Ross Adolph, Gerson Bautista, Bobby Wahl, Felix Valerio, Adam Hill, and Scott Manea, his work is not nearly done.

Instead of saying, “Come get us!” to the National League, he should be telling ownership to “Please help us!” because this team is far from complete.


4 thoughts on “Van Wagenen Has No Room For Harper, Machado, And Maybe Postseason”

  1. LongTimeFan1 says:

    With the division the way it is…as strong as it is – upper 80 wins could nab the title.

    I think we have a 90-95 win team especially if stay fairly healthy and get back Cespedes after the all star break.

    Speaking of Cespedes, a Harper signing presents a problem for a portion of this season and next.

    Furthermore, per John Heyman, Harper remains unwilling to take a short term deal.

    And per Brodie, better to spread the money around to fill team needs which in fact he did.

    Many fans, including me, want Harper, but not at his insane price in dollars and years. I don’t think he’s going to age well. His defense is declining, he has a violent swing and I think too muscled while not being light on his feet. That’s a lot of collective wear and tear on his back, torso, knees, feet, hips.

    My preference would be to add a proven starter.

    And address a lack of left hand hitting bench bat when McNeil and Lowrie start.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’m sorry, but Brodie didn’t spread the money around nearly enough. This team is still just four starters deep, and they still have just two starting caliber outfielders.

      So yet again, the Mets are counting on health, and they’re counting on very injured players returning and having no setbacks or struggles.

  2. metsdaddy says:

    Their top infielders are in their 30s, they only have two starting caliber outfielders, and they have zero rotation depth.

    There’s relying upon healthy players remaining healthy, and there’s playing Russian Roulette

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