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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Choose Your Own Mets Trade Deadline Adventure

The Mets launched themselves into the center of baseball’s trade discourse by unexpectedly picking up Marcus Stroman on Sunday. They extended their stay there by shipping out Jason Vargas on Monday. And it’s still hard to say just what they’re trying to do.

It’s not that these deals are inherently perplexing on their own. They aren’t! In a vacuum, each of these made sense, or something like it. With Stroman, the team got a quality pitcher under contract for another full season without having to give up any premium prospects. Sure, it seems like a transaction more befitting a true contender rather than a club six-and-a-half games back in a crowded wild-card race, but for this relatively low price, it works, and it positions the club well for next year. And with Vargas, the team saved a little cash ($2 million buyout to decline his option for 2020) and picked up a minor leaguer in exchange for a pitcher whom they likely would have watched walk, anyway, who never had much chance of netting a solid return. So, yes, evaluated individually, in a vacuum—each of these is just fine. But… evaluated in tandem, take-a-pitcher-leave-a-pitcher, in the real-world context of rumors about trading Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler, for a team whose chances of contention next year do not currently seem much better than this year, with a freshman general manager who is already in a rather perilous spot, in a franchise so frequently mired in multi-layered dysfunction that it’s become synonymous with its very name? Uh, yeah, less fine. It doesn’t make so much sense for the Mets—for where they are (right now) or for who they are (always).

It’s hard to say just where the team is going. (Buying? Selling? Neither?) It’s hard to say where it’s trying to go. But it has a few rumored options on the table. So here they are: A New York Mets’ Choose Your Own Adventure, just for the 2019 trade deadline.

A fair warning: Turning to the back pages of the book will not give you all the answers.

 

QLE Posted: July 30, 2019 at 05:15 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets being mets, trade deadline

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Zonk Begs Your Pardon, Mr Blago Posted: July 30, 2019 at 08:46 AM (#5866240)
Fail.

You advertise a choose your own adventure, replete with plenty of flash popups (but at least it was a slide show!) and you can't even be bothered to actually turn it INTO a CYOA? Fail.
   2. KronicFatigue Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5866327)
The thing I found most confusing were the "experts" who were convinced the Stroman trade meant Mets were outright buyers for 2019 and Noah etc were staying. IMO, the cost for Stroman was so low that they just had to do it. His value is in 2020 and he'll also try to keep the Mets in the respectable range for 2019. As others have mentioned in other Mets threads, there's value in staying "in" a race as long as you can, even if you don't have much of a chance of winning that race.

If Vargas was included in the Stroman trade, it would still have been a win for the Mets. MAYBE the only way they could justify paying his 2019 salary was to cut costs somewhere else, and that's why Vargas was shipped out.

We still don't know what the Mets hope to acomplish in 2020. These first 2 trades can be part of several plans. If and when Noah/Wheeler get traded, we'll know more. Whether its for 2020 players, or if the return skews younger.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5866333)
If Vargas was included in the Stroman trade, it would still have been a win for the Mets. MAYBE the only way they could justify paying his 2019 salary was to cut costs somewhere else, and that's why Vargas was shipped out.

That's my gues (I said it in another thread). I assume the cheap-ass Wilpons didn't want to increase payroll by $2.5M, so demanded an offset move.
   4. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5866486)
Yeah, by trading Vargas and counting in the $1.5m that the Blue Jays are sending along the Mets have actually reduced payroll in essentially swapping Vargas and two prospects for Stroman and a makeweight.
   5. spycake Posted: July 30, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5866563)
Is there something wrong with trying to save some money on Vargas? Vargas isn't very good, and this was literally the last opportunity the Mets had to dump him and save a little cash. (Plus they have to insert Stroman into the rotation somehow, although a Wheeler deal could do that too.)
   6. bobm Posted: July 30, 2019 at 04:03 PM (#5866565)
The 26-year-old Bossart is hitting .195 with seven homers and 28 RBIs at Reading of the Eastern League. He was a 14th-round pick in the 2015 amateur draft from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a teammate of Bradley Wilpon -- a son of Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and a grandson of Mets owner Fred Wilpon.




Link
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: July 30, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5866566)
Vargas has a 102 ERA+ this year and was far better than that in his last 8 starts of last year.

I can't think of many teams that have 5 SPs as good, so there's a wide swath there.

it was silly to trade him in the division AND to a wild card rival. I noted the Wilpon connection yesterday and hoped it wasn't true.
   8. Bote Man Posted: July 30, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5866579)
But the Mets keep saying through the media that they are still shopping Syndergaard AND want a Major League-ready starter. Well, call me madcap, but I think Syndergaard is a Major League-ready pitcher now, so why this effort? Keep Stroman, keep Noah, and play baseball. Maybe you'll win a few more games this way. (Not too many, thank you very much!)
   9. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: July 30, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5866586)
Vargas has a 102 ERA+ this year and was far better than that in his last 8 starts of last year.

I'll take the under on that going forward, by a lot. I give him credit for what he's done after his horrendous start, but it doesn't seem sustainable to me. Bad peripherals and bad stuff.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: July 30, 2019 at 05:29 PM (#5866589)
But the Mets keep saying through the media that they are still shopping Syndergaard

It can be hard to tell the difference between a team talking through the media and the media just making stuff up or, in this case, the media not getting the memo. Following Stroman, the Vargas trade makes no sense if they have a deal to ship Noah or even Wheeler out of town. It's possible that the Mets weren't getting what they wanted in return for either of them so made this pair of deals instead and I suppose there's a chance a team will panic at the deadline and give the Mets what they want and they will go ahead with a Noah or Wheeler deal. (Wheeler of course is really on the clock, Noah can be dealt this offseason if that's the plan.)
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: July 30, 2019 at 06:00 PM (#5866596)
I'll take the under on that going forward, by a lot.

to your point, he does have a 5.10 xERA this season, which is more predictive.

but no one was going to pay for a 102 ERA+. the Phillies didn't even pay for a 75 ERA+, though.
   12. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 30, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5866630)
Honestly, given Vargas's peripherals it might not be a bad idea to trade him to the Phillies and sandbag them. The Wilpons do occasionally succeed despite themselves.

e: This is how I thought of the JA Happ trade last year, I was perfectly happy to see him go to the Yankees.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: July 30, 2019 at 08:22 PM (#5866632)
Happ was the ultimate sleeper cell - thrive in the regular season, then go full rogue in his postseason start
   14. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:56 PM (#5866709)
it was silly to trade him in the division AND to a wild card rival. I noted the Wilpon connection yesterday and hoped it wasn't true.

the mets have a 3% chance at getting a 40% chance to get to a 50% chance of playing in the NLCS.

the wild card is fools gold for a team like the mets...or really just any team that has less than a 50% chance of making the playoffs (there are only 9 teams that have >50% chance at making the playoffs right now, according to bref -- ATL, WSN, CHC, LAD, NYY, TBR, MIN, CLE, HOU).


even for a team like PHI that has a 25% chance at getting to the wild card spot, which is itself a 50/50 chance of getting to the NLDS, has a ~5% chance odds of getting to the NLCS, where they'd still have to win two 7-game series in order to get the world series.

these are terrible ####### odds before you even begin to account for the reasons why their odds are so terrible in the first place. it's insane for any of the other teams to even consider giving up anything of value for the chance to be a wild card team.
   15. Bote Man Posted: July 31, 2019 at 08:59 AM (#5866739)
it's insane for any of the other teams to even consider giving up anything of value for the chance to be a wild card team.

Yes, why even bother playing those 162 games if you don't have a snowball's chance of getting into the playoffs??? It's not like this is an entertainment business or anything!!
   16. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5866756)
It doesn't appear that the Mets are going to trade Syndergaard, so if that's the case I straight up love the Stroman pickup. Whether they trade Wheeler or not, they've got a top three of deGrom, Thor, and Stroman. If they don't trade Wheeler, then add him to the top 4, which makes Matz probably the best fifth starter in baseball.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 09:48 AM (#5866758)
It doesn't appear that the Mets are going to trade Syndergaard, so if that's the case I straight up love the Stroman pickup. Whether they trade Wheeler or not, they've got a top three of deGrom, Thor, and Stroman. If they don't trade Wheeler, then add him to the top 4, which makes Matz probably the best fifth starter in baseball.

Wheeler is a FA. But, he probably takes the qualifying offer if they make it.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5866778)
well, this year the ERA+s - on the same team - are Thor 100, Matz 95, and Wheeler 87.
the departed Vargas was 103 (up from 102 yesterday, huh)

amusing W-L records
Thor 7-5
Vargas 6-5
Wheeler 7-6
Matz 6-6
deGrom 6-7 (!)
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5866783)
well, this year the ERA+s - on the same team - are Thor 100, Matz 95, and Wheeler 87.

Given the D they're running out there, gotta take those with a grain of salt.
   20. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:11 AM (#5866784)
Right, I was talking about the rest of this year. I wouldn't have a problem with Wheeler taking a QO for next year, though.

I disagree with Stiggles, too. I like watching my team play meaningful games, even if they're unlikely to make a deep playoff run. And who knows, it was around this time in 2015 that the Mets went on a tear and ended up making the World Series. They were 52-50 going into July 31st, and 4.5 games back in the wildcard.
   21. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5866789)
Given the D they're running out there, gotta take those with a grain of salt.


The FIPs are probably a better indicator as to how they've pitched- Thor at 3.48, Wheeler at 3.65, and Matz at 4.89 (with Vargas at 4.71). Stroman's FIP is at 3.52 and deGrom is obviously the ace at 2.95
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5866793)
The FIPs are probably a better indicator as to how they've pitched- Thor at 3.48, Wheeler at 3.65, and Matz at 4.89 (with Vargas at 4.71). Stroman's FIP is at 3.52 and deGrom is obviously the ace at 2.95

Concur.
   23. Adam Starblind Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5866843)
There is also some chance Thor's problem was Wilson Ramos. He stopped pitching to him, and he's been excellent his last three starts. Let's see.
   24. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5866868)
I disagree with Stiggles, too. I like watching my team play meaningful games, even if they're unlikely to make a deep playoff run. And who knows, it was around this time in 2015 that the Mets went on a tear and ended up making the World Series. They were 52-50 going into July 31st, and 4.5 games back in the wildcard.

in 2015, there was no wildcard play-in game.
now, in 2019, in addition to having to fight their way into the playoffs, those mets would also have been subject to, essentially, a coinflip chance of being immediately eliminated.
Yes, why even bother playing those 162 games if you don't have a snowball's chance of getting into the playoffs??? It's not like this is an entertainment business or anything!
not what i'm arguing.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5866873)

in 2015, there was no wildcard play-in game


I don't recall them skipping over the wildcard game that year.

It was introduced in 2012, for crying out loud.
   26. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:52 AM (#5866880)
in 2015, there was no wildcard play-in game.


In 2015, the Cubs beat the Pirates and the Astros beat the Yankees in the Wild Card play-in round, so I don't know what you're talking about.
   27. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5866882)
I don't recall them skipping over the wildcard game that year.

It was introduced in 2012, for crying out loud.
nah, you're right.

on july 30 2015, the mets were 3 GB in the NL east, which they wound up winning. that team wasn't competing for a wild card spot, they were playing for the guaranteed entry of a division title.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5866886)
As long as the Mets are acquiring players they control for 2020 and beyond, what's the harm in trying to get the WC?
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5866887)
on july 30 2015, the mets were 3 GB in the NL east, which they wound up winning. that team wasn't competing for a wild card spot, they were playing for the guaranteed entry of a division title.


That part is true. The wild card was available to them, but they were also in the race for the division, which isn't really the case now.

   30. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5866889)
on july 30 2015, the mets were 3 GB in the NL east,


And by August 2, they were tied for the lead and never out of first after that.
   31. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: July 31, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5866896)
That part is true. The wild card was available to them, but they were also in the race for the division, which isn't really the case now.
right. and what separates that situation from a situation like the NL central this year is that the 2015 NL east race was between 2 (mediocre) teams, while the 2019 NL central race is between 3.
   32. Adam Starblind Posted: July 31, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5867113)
in 2015, there was no wildcard play-in game.
now, in 2019, in addition to having to fight their way into the playoffs, those mets would also have been subject to, essentially, a coinflip chance of being immediately eliminated.


The play-in game is an improvement for the team that finishes second for the WC. Pre-play-in game, that team went home.
   33. Adam Starblind Posted: July 31, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5867118)
the 2015 NL east race was between 2 (mediocre) teams


The Mets won 90 games in 2015. That's a pretty harsh definition of "mediocre."
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5867254)
Lookie, lookie. Mets only 4.5 games out of the WC after last night.
   35. Adam Starblind Posted: August 07, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5869283)
Nobody was wrong when they said it would be highly improbable for the Mets to actually contend for the wild card. But now two games separate the Nats, Phils, Cards, Brewers, and Mets for the two spots. Pretty much a jump ball. Love baseball.
   36. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5869288)
#### that, we're going to win the ####### division.

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