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Brodie Van Wagenen Botched Everything Keon Broxton

Recently, there has been a number of questions from the media regarding Mickey Callaway‘s job status. Based upon the roster and his statements yesterday, maybe the media should instead be asking Brodie Van Wagenen if he knows what he’s doing.

Back in January, the Mets obtained Keon Broxton from the Milwaukee Brewers for Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill, and Felix Valerio. In the press release announcing the deal, Brodie Van Wagenen said, “Keon is a dynamic athlete with the ability to impact the game in the outfield, on the bases and with his bat. He adds depth to our major league roster for 2019 and into the future.”

In 34 games that did not prove to be the case as Broxton was about as you can be. He had an 8 wRC+ while striking out 41.5 percent of the time while posting a -1 DRS in the outfield. Really, every time he took the field you failed to see not just how he could help the Mets, but also why the Mets would give up three players for him.

Everyone has been frustrated by it, Broxton included. After he struck out to end the game against the Nationals, he said, “From the start of the season I’ve been surprised. I haven’t been playing too much, I haven’t gotten as many opportunities. It’s not like I started out bad. It is what it is though. They got a plan and they’re working with it, so all I can do is try to be ready.”

With his being designated for assignment, he’s going to try to be ready somewhere else.

Van Wagenen addresses the decision before yesterday’s loss against the Marlins. In his comments, there was certainly a bit of revisionist’s history:

Clearly, we gave up a few players for Keon. We said publicly then, and I think it’s played itself out here now that Keon’s move was potentially redundant by design.

The Mets General Manager stood in front of reporters, and he told them he gave away three players for someone he now for the first time admits was redundant.

It needs to be reiterated. Van Wagenen admitted he used prospects and a roster spot on a player with no options and could refuse an assignment to the minors. He did that with full knowledge Broxton was redundant because of Juan Lagares.

He utilized assets and a roster spot for a redundant player.

Van Wagenen did that despite the team entering the season with just two caliber starting outfielders on the roster. He did that despite there being a plethora of veterans available who’d sign a minor league deal to serve the same purpose. Veterans like Gregor Blanco, Rajai Davis, or Carlos Gomez.

Do you want those guys starting games? No, of course not. However, those are the types of players who could serve as redundancies to a backup. But now, in his infinite wisdom, Broxton designates Broxton for assignment for Gomez, someone who they signed without giving up three players.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Mets need the depth now. Michael Conforto is on the IL with a concussion, and given the nature of the injury, no one can know when he can return. Jeff McNeil has not landed on the IL, but he’s dealing with an abdominal issue.

It’s also bizarre Van Wagenen suddenly decided Lagares wasn’t going to be injured this year. Lagares has been on the disabled list in each of the past three years and five of his last six. After the Mets played 42 games and lost two of their starting outfielders, Van Wagenen decides the team doesn’t need their redundancy for Lagares.

Even better, the player replacing Broxton is the injury prone Gomez.

In the end, Broxton did little to prove he belonged on the roster. In some ways, he reminded you of Alejandro De Aza, who was terrible to open 2016 with fans begging he be designated for assignment. Of course, De Aza came up huge in July and September to help that Mets team make the postseason.

There will be no such redemption story for Broxton because Van Wagenen decided the team needed LESS outfield depth with their top two outfielders injured. Apparently, the Mets also no longer need redundant players on the roster (as if any team ever needs that).

Of course, despite having effectively throwing away three players for a player Van Wagenen saw as a redundancy, he gets to answer questions about Callaway’s job status. He also gets to make a decision (or have input on the decision) to fire Callaway for his inability to win games with a roster full of underperforming redundant players.

23 thoughts on “Brodie Van Wagenen Botched Everything Keon Broxton”

  1. royhobbs7 says:

    Wasn’t the trade for Cano and the signing of Lowrie also redundant (when Jeff McNeil could have justas easily manned 2B?
    Accordingly, BVW is as clueless as Dandy-Sandy was!

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Yes, but with the versatility, you could argue it is as depth.

    2. Oldbackstop says:

      Since two of those three were hurt this week and the third in a dreadful collision, I think not.

  2. Just Give It Time? says:

    Give him credit for swallowing his pride and saying he screwed up?

    It was in a master plan that Broxton would contribute but mostly for late inn8ng speed and Dee?

    Or Milwaukee enthusiastically sold Broxton that way?

    Did Valerio cost lots of pool money?
    Adam Hill looks quite enthusiastic in his photo and we know that hard work, huge commitment is necessary and non negotiable to move up in the minors.

    These guys were NOT signed or drafted by Brody, why wait three years in Hill and six on Valerio ?

    He plugged players like Broxton in like it was __________? Fantasy ?

    Was this a move for insurance for Lagares getting hurt again and also gone next year? Conforto having an inconsistent arm last year and Nimmo almost a zero arm?

    Brody saw his pitchers rolling, leads in late innings, Diaz closing, his Cano booming and here was his late inning defense + no need for a pitcher as your PINCH RUNNER? Plus that insurance? Plus speed less Mets — Broxton had a couple good years of SBs?

    MAYBE Brody is too chummy with these other GMs?
    Houston was not going to keep “Mr Defense” either…?
    Other teams flawed players?

    The Cano who would contribute to late late night leads…. need for Broxton’s Dee?

    Brody (and Wilpons wanting an ex Yankee star?) had to believe in Cano for he got so little cash in the deal?

    I thought was negotiating up to $30 m cash after figuring Bruce’s two years and that 2017 flash in a pan reliever.

    THEY CAN NOT FIRE BRODY
    THEY CAN PUSH JEFF ASIDE AND HIRE A real BASEBALL PRO AS PRESIDENT?
    .

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t care who drafted or signed players. Assets are assets, and you don’t get rid of them because it was an asset acquired by someone else.

      As for giving him credit, why?

      Was Broxton so beyond repair his career is now over? Did the Mets suddenly acquire OF depth to sustain another injury or two?

    2. Oldbackstop says:

      Broxton has the tools to be a plus player, don’t let his very small PT appearances so far fool you. Lagares is gone after this year and Broxton is under cheap control for two more. Elite speed off the bench to pinch run is a great plus for a 5th OF.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        I don’t think he has anywhere near the tools to be a plus player, but he can certainly be a useful one.

  3. Barry says:

    You know, after reading this, it occurred to me that Broxton could have been DFA’d mostly because he spoke out about how the Mets haven’t given him enough playing time. Because, as you said, why get rid of him just when they actually need outfielders due to the injuries. It makes no sense. I think they didn’t want any player starting to make waves.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t think we should discount pettiness or spite.

  4. Oldbackstop says:

    Wahl blew out his elbow, Adam Hill is an A ball pitcher, and if you find where the hell Felix Valerio is, I’d be interested, cuz it doesn’t seem to be playing baseball in 2019.

    And saying Broxton has played 34 games is disingenuous, he only has 49 at bats. You seem to give your favorites the leeway of small samples. Averaging one at bat per game the team played is not a sample, it is a bunch of times coming off the bench to face a closer. If he goes 4 for 4 tomorrow his average goes up like 40 points. And citing a DRS on this sample is just ignorant.

    And we have him for two years and his salary is nothing. And he is a legitimate speed threat, something Mets fans don’t appreciate because it is a unicorn around here.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Wahl didn’t suffer a career ending injury. Also, saying a prospect is in Single-A is not analysis. Players start somewhere. To dismiss them due to level is nonsense.

      With respect to Broxton, I’ve now twice said he shouldn’t have been DFA’d citing his sample size.

      As for the DRS, you’re misunderstanding the point. The point was this is what his level of production is right now. It’s not saying it’s his true talent level. It’s saying this is the snapshot.

  5. Oldbackstop says:

    Bobby Wahl was the headliner in the deal, he is 27, has only thrown 13 major league innings, and is now out for the whole year. If you own stock in Bobby Wahl, I would dump it immediately.

    And seriously, where is Valerio?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      This was not a career ending injury for him, and unless you’re privy to something no one else is, there’s no reason to believe he can’t be better.

    2. Oldbackstop says:

      Wahl will likely be 28 before he pitches another major league innings to add to his total of 13 IP and an ERA of 6.92. I have no idea why anyone would have the slightest optimism that he will have a major league career above replacement level.

      And, maybe you are a better researcher than me, but where the hell is little Valerio? California Penal League?

  6. Oldbackstop says:

    I’m curious if behind the scenes Broxton didn’t run his mouth a little too much about his playing time. One headline labelled him a “malcontent.”

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Shocking the Mets are smearing a guy on the way out. They never do that.

  7. John Anderson says:

    Who the hell cares. The Mets didn’t lose anything. They gave Broxton a show knowing he usually has good defense and above average power, is under control and easily replaces Lagares when he’s gone after this season.
    Not every move works. Move on and stop wasting any more time thinking about it.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The Mets lost three players and the ability to get a better player for the role. They also lost the chance to see if he could right himself.

      Really, we should not be so flippant of a bad move especially one characterized as a redundancy.

  8. NJ says:

    It’s a shame they DFA’d him now that an opportunity has come up. As a Brewer fan I can tell you Broxton is an incredibly streaky hitter, especially because strikeouts are a major weakness of his. But when he locks in he can carry an offense for a few weeks. You get all excited and then he’s 8 wRC+ for two months. His D and baserunning are real good too. He’s one of those guys who probably is not as good as most starters, but better than a lot of bench guys when it comes to filling in as a regular. Off the bench though, his strikeouts just shine through.

    I was a little surprised by what the Brewers got for him because last year he had spend more time as a back up than a reg and it showed in the numbers, and he was out of options. But I also don’t think it was a terrible overpay. Although now if he is released it likely will be since it won’t take much for even one of those players to contribute more to the Brewers.

    Best of luck Keon!

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I think this summarizes why the handling and timing of his DFA was extremely short-sighted better than anyone could put it.

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