Brodie Van Wagenen Thinks Mets Fans Are Stupid

Look, when you have a trade with the framework of Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz for Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn blow up in your face while getting absolutely nothing of value from free agent signings like Jeurys Familia and Jed Lowrie, and you are still cheered at a Mets game, chances are you believe you are Teflon.

Better yet, you probably believe no matter what you do people will buy whatever you are saying. We’re seeing the effects of that.

Despite Zack Wheeler and Marcus Stroman appearing in the same rotation last year, Van Wagenen is selling Stroman as a replacement for Wheeler in the rotation. Despite touting a rotation of four aces with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Wheeler last year, now with the signings of Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, Van Wagenen is selling the Mets having six starters who are number four or better.

Worse yet, Van Wagenen is now touting the Mets rotation as the deepest in the game. That is despite the fact Wacha has shoulder problems and isn’t really a Major League caliber starting pitcher right now. Porcello has value, and may be in line for a rebound, but he is really no more than a fifth starter. Regardless, overselling this rotation which is clearly worse than the 2019 rotation is evidence of how little Van Wagenen thinks of everyone’s intellect.

It gets worse.

Despite not adding any relievers to the bullpen, Van Wagenen is touting how he improved the bullpen. He has done that by claiming the team has added Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman to the bullpen. If you think you are taking crazy pills or have amnesia, you don’t. Both Lugo and Gsellman were in the bullpen last year. Same goes for Brad Brach.

Saying the Mets have addressed the bullpen by adding Lugo and Gsellman is like saying the Mets have improved the lineup by not trading Brandon Nimmo this offseason, or by having Jeff McNeil in it after his late season injury. Fact is, keeping the same players doesn’t upgrade anything. It is treading water, but Van Wagenen doesn’t think anyone is intelligent enough to discover that.

Believe it or not, it gets better. Van Wagenen actually had the temerity to say this, “We’re in a position now where we can only look to make good baseball deals and not feel like we have to do something.

That’s right. Fifteen months into his tenure as the Mets General Manager, he is boldly saying that now he is only looking to make good baseball deals instead of making moves for their own sake.

Seeing his affinity for his former clients like Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie, you’re now free to draw your own conclusions about whether they were good baseball deals, or whether there was a compulsion to something. Really, you can make that about any decision made prior to his next one.

Based on his history, it’ll be a bad one, he’ll think we’re all stupid as evidenced by his nonsense explanation, and we’ll just be sitting around waiting for the Steve Cohen Era to truly begin.

31 thoughts on “Brodie Van Wagenen Thinks Mets Fans Are Stupid”

  1. Longtimefan1 says:

    It’s December 13, 2019. Two months to go before pitchers and catchers report. Rest assured, your drama and hyperbole for your purposes is far more overblown than BVW’s comments on his roster construction and organizational structure to this point. If you think he’s done deal-making, signing, or improving organizational function and culture, it’s going to be a long two months for you and spring training for you.

    I don’t have to like every move or deal he’s made since his hiring to understand his plan and objectives. Some things work out, some don’t. Some things require more than one season to assess. We won 86 this past season, not just 50, or 60 or 70 like the panic-stricken portion of the fan base predicted. I’ll wait and watch and see what the final product looks like heading into opening day. The calendar screams we’re nowhere close, while you scream otherwise that some of us are dumb for not taking Brodie’s market-speak, positioning, negotiating and jockeying at face value.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s not drama or hyperbole. BVW actually called Stroman a replacement for someone who appeared in the same pitching rotation, and he classified Lugo and Gsellman as bullpen upgrades.

      That wasn’t jockeying for position or anything. These are words which came out of his mouth to sell what he’s done this offseason.

  2. Bart Scrivener says:

    keep swallowing from that hose of Public Relations, Daddy

    You are the perfect mark

  3. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Stroman’s acquisition was hedge against potentially losing Wheeler and was reported at the time he was obtained.

    Brodie’s comments on pen, current rotation and impact of his current offseason acquisitions, is obvious leverage comments for additional free agent and trade negotiations. Though he could have done better job expressing it, Brodie is very aggressive in player search and acquisition and will continue doing so this offseason as he has since he got here.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      You don’t give up two significant prospects for 1+ years as a pitcher as a hedge. Flat out, that’s incompetent.

      As for his comments, he made them, and he needs to live with them just like he has to make do with what is amounting to the worst GM tenure in team history.

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        I disagree on all points.

        Stroman as hedge for 2020 also slotted in nicely in 2019 with Vargas shipped out.

        With Wheeler no longer a Met, Brodie’s now signed 2 big league starters which creates pitching depth for the remaining open slot while the other moves to the pen unless Brodie makes other decisions on Matz.

        Stroman is now is our #3 with proven track record of success. Wheeler had been our #3.

        As for your belief Brodie’s the worst in Mets history, I’ve been a Mets fan for most of the others and have to disagree even though I disagree with some of Brodie’s decisions.

        It’s 3.5 months till opening day. Lots of things will transpire from now to then. Each piece is building block for the next. I take the long view in offseason construction. You take a more over-the-top approach in pretty much everything Mets. As a webmaster and blogger, making mountains out of moehills gets you some additional page views and comments, which you’ve figured out.

        As for the Mets, I expect Brodie to continue make moves in pitching, position players, scouting and development personnel in what is another busy offseason for him.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          It’s illogical to replace one pitcher in the rotation with another pitcher already in the rotation. You also don’t trade two good prospects to just delay the same problem for another year, especially when Stroman is not as good as the person you want to sell he’s replacing.

          Moreover, he added Porcello despite having a poor defense and a catcher terrible at framing the low strike which Porcello desperately needs. Moreover, his “depth” is someone with a bum shoulder who has really established he’s no longer an MLB caliber starter.

  4. Longtimefan1 says:

    Though I don’t agree with some of Brodie’s decisions, there’s no denying the Mets finished 10 games over .500 in his first season as GM, a few games out of second wild card, and looking to improve in 2020, securing playoff spot with 90-something wins.

    Wacha and Porcello provide 5 and 6th starting rotation options.

    Porcello is a start-making machine who is former CY Young award winner who got away from pitching to his strengths by throwing too many 4-seamers up. He’s effective pitching down more in the zone.

    Our projected starting catcher, Ramos, is working hard this offseason on his fitness and catching skills.

    His 2019 framing ranks 38th of 78 per Statcast.

    His 2019 Pop Time to second base, 2.00 is tied for 35th. A 1.99 pop time, would tie him for 26th.

    His Pop Time to third base, 1.57, ties him for 10th.

    Wacha is very smart, talented pitcher, playoff MVP, All Star battling back from oblique and shoulder injury. Low risk signing, 3 mil guaranteed plus performance incentives he easily obtains with good health.

    Phillies sign Wheeler for 118 mil for 5 years after 4.1 WAR and 3.96 ERA in 2019.

    Stroman replaces Wheeler as our #3 starter in 2020 after a 4.1 WAR 3.22 era 2019.

    Wheeler on the blocks heading into July 2019.

    Makes 3 starts in July 2019. 10-Day DL retroactive to July 7th with shoulder fatigue. .

    Returns July 26th, 73 pitches. Season 4.71 ERA.

    Mets trade for Stroman, July 28th, 2019.

    Vargas traded to the Phillies July 29th.

    Wheeler’s shoulder and 4.71 era impact what Mets can get at trade deadline for him.

    Other Wheeler Arm Or Shoulder injury issues.

    Shut down 9-19-18 for the rest of the season due to workload issues.

    DL for Biceps Tendonitis, retroactive to June 20, 2017. Activated July 1st.

    DL retroactive to July 23, 2017 – Stress reaction right arm.

    August 24th, 2017 – announced out for season.

    Missed the entire 2016 season.

    Missed he entire 2015 seasons after tearing an elbow tendon and elbow ligament.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      1. The rotation is definitively worse.

      2. Ramos can’t frame a low strike, a problem compounded by signing Porcello.

      3. Wacha has a bum shoulder and hasn’t been the same guy he was when he was the NLCS MVP.

      4. Stroman doesn’t replace someone he was in the same rotation with.

      5. Wheeler’s issues are well behind him.

      1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

        Solid points, md.

        1. Mets pitching is certainly no better than it was at the start of in 2019, and if you include the minor league talent handed away (2 promising pitchers), the pitching is surely worse, overall. It’s also the same kind of rotation that gave 76 starts to pitchers with below league average ERAs in 2018, had 70 such starts in 2019, and of the 92 starts in 2019 by pitchers with above league average ERAs while with the Mets, more than half of those starts are by pitchers now off the team. Incredible.

        2. Everyone not a superstar has their issues, but key here is that the Mets could easily have had Grandal within last offseason’s budget. They also could have signed him this year and dealt away Ramos even with other teams knowing they wanted to move Ramos. 2 win catchers with upside on 1/10m deals don’t become available often. They could have dealt Ramos for salary AND gotten back some team’s #20 prospect.

        3. Yup. Precisely why combining Wacha’s and Porcello’s salary and getting an actually good pitcher was the correct move here. Btw, the incentives in Wacha’s deal are primarily if he starts. Imagine how he felt after the Mets got Porcello.

        4. The Mets got Stroman knowing they weren’t resigning Wheeler. They dealt away pitchers at #4 and #6 in their system in order to let Wheeler walk and get the cheaper substitute for 2020. And if they were interested in extending Stroman, why haven’t they done so? The Wilpons appear to prefer signing pitchers at FA prices to extending their own players. It’s a *remarkable* business model.

        5. Seems like, at least as much as for most pitchers. Two 180 inning seasons in a row. And the Mets had better access to his medical records than anyone, and still didn’t make a cheap offer after 2017 that he probably would have jumped at, a modest offer at the 2018 ASB, a respectable offer after the 2018 season (remember when people were claiming 3/45m guaranteed was excessive?), a close to market offer at the 2019 ASB, or 4/80 with a vest the last week of the 2019 season, which he might have grabbed.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          On 4, if you’re getting Stroman because you can’t re-sign Wheeler, you have to move Wheeler.

          1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

            It’s an interesting question. Wheeler’s trade value was way down at the deadline. Shoulder fatigue, they said.

            As of July 7 Wheeler had an ERA of 4.69. He then missed 19 days, came back, and gave up 3 runs in 5.1 innings against a sub-par Pittsburgh offense, after which there were 5 days to the deadline. His very good pitching came in August and September (ERAs of 3.41 and 1.85) which should have suggested something to the Mets about properly resting players.

            Anyway, it was clear the Mets weren’t getting a haul for Wheeler, but as of Wheeler’s outing on July 26 the Mets were a lousy 48-55 team, making keeping him a bizarre decision. As we saw, essentially everything went right for those 48-55 Mets and they still didn’t make the postseason. I’m sure they looked at things, saw the return, and calculated that trying to stay on the fringes of the race would bring in more $$$ than dealing Wheeler. Not to mention they’re frittering away the farm to pay for their foolishness, cashing out the system in order to support their pretense of being a serious contender.

            What all that omits, though, is that the Mets created the wrong choice for themselves in the first place.

            They clearly should have signed Wheeler when the opportunity presented itself variously over the 2-4 years before he left the team. They could have had him for essentially nothing, probably a guarantee of $8 and cheap club options through his first 3 FA years had they moved within 18 months following his serious injury.

            As for Stroman, that only would have made sense if the Mets record on July 26 were the reverse, if they were a 55-48 team with the obvious problems but a genuine shot at the postseason. You deal for Stroman (and presumably extend him), move Matz to the weak pen as that’s better than doing the same with Vargas (reverse it if you feel strongly), and now you’ve bolstered the bullpen and deepened the rotation. Now you have the depth and the ingredients (4 good to great SPs and a slightly above average offense with two terrific hitters) to go deep into the postseason rather than what the Mets did–hoping to make the second wildcard playoff before getting knocked out.

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