No. Please don’t do it, Brodie Van Wagenen. Don’t trade the 26-year-old flame throwing ace Mets fans adore. And definitely don’t trade him to the New York Yankees.
Earlier this week, reports came out that the New York Mets, New York Yankees and Miami Marlins were in talks for a three-way trade consisting of the Yankees gaining star pitcher Noah Syndergaard and the Mets receiving all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto. While I like the Mets attempting to find the best piece to fit the holes in their lineup, that doesn’t mean they should give up a top-level arm with a ton of upside in the process.
Sure, maybe the right-hander has been injury prone in the past, only pitching in 30.1 innings in 2017 and never throwing more than 200 in a major league season. His struggles with the DL should never undermine his value however, as Syndergaard has proven to be one of the best pitchers for the Mets in recent years.
Syndergaard was a key part of New York’s World Series run in 2015, when he was called up to the majors in the middle of that year to post a 3.24 ERA and 166 strikeouts in 150 innings during the regular season. That postseason he went 2-1, giving up seven runs over 19 innings with 26 strikeouts. Mets fans also can’t forget Syndergaard’s efforts in the 2016 Wild Card game against San Francisco, when he pitched seven innings of two-hit ball before Jeurys Familia gave up a three-run bomb to Conor Gillaspie to lose the game.
Although hurt for parts of 2018, Syndergaard still came up with the second-best ERA for New York starters with a 3.03, and had the fourth best WAR on the team. He went 13-4 for the Mets throwing 154.1 innings with 155 strikeouts. He has proven time and time again that he deserves to be a part of the future of this franchise.
The question is, why would the Mets even consider moving such an incredible talent? They simply have not had an answer for the catching position in years, and are in desperate need of someone who can play behind the backstop long-term and consistently, all while filling up the box score.
Realmuto is exactly that guy, never appearing in less than 125 games in his first four full seasons in the majors and batting with pop every single year. He hit .277 in 125 games last year with the Marlins, while also slashing 74 RBIs and 21 home runs for a 4.3 WAR. His numbers have increased every single year since he’s been called up, and at 27-years-old, this trend has no sign of stopping anytime soon.
It would just take so much more for the Mets to complete this trade. The Yankees would have to give someone extremely valuable in return, and even if that, the move still might not be worth while. How could Van Wagenen even mull over the idea of sending such a prized pitcher to our cross-city rivals to help them win a championship, when the Mets are in a pursuit of their own? The whole thing seems preposterous, but as the days go by, more and more reports come out that make it seem like this trade idea is not going away.
There are a lot of viable options for the Mets on the free agent market at the catching position. Two I would love to have would be Wilson Ramos and Yasmani Grandal.
Ramos sported the best stats offensively in 2018 out of the catchers available, hitting for a .306 batting average with 15 bombs and 70 RBIs with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies. At 31-years-old, he is a proven major leaguer in the middle of his prime, and would be a great fit for a New York team looking towards World Series redemption.
A nice second option would be Yasmani Grandal. He hit .241 in 2018, but did have 24 home runs and 68 RBIs, helping lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to the World Series. The problem is Grandal has struggled mightily throughout the postseason, dropping multiple balls behind the plate last year to cost the Dodgers games, and only posting a career .107 batting average in 75 at-bats during October.
Grandal brings postseason experience though, and certainly has potential to redeem himself at only 30-years-old. I would much rather have him or Ramos on my team with Syndergaard, than have Realmuto without Syndergaard anyday.
The Mets need to come to the realization that it is going to take money to build a winning ball club. Trades might benefit in one area, but take away from others. I hope these reports are nothing more than rumors.
Stay tuned for more Mets offseason updates next semester!