Weekly Mets Check In: The Trade Deadline Has Come And Gone

Lots to discuss here as it was a busy week.  The games are pretty irrelevant because the Mets are pretty irrelevant.  I’ll keep the performance synopsis brief and focus around the trade activity, the moves that were made, the moves that weren’t made, and what there is to look forward to.  It was a West Coast trip which allowed fans like myself to watch only a few innings and sleep peacefully.  The Mets split the 4 games with the Padres, and lost 2 of 3 in Seattle.  Dating back to the start of July, the Mets have lost the last game of the series in 7 out of the last 8.  Needless to say, they’re a mediocre team sitting in 3rd place today at 48-55.

Monday Game 1 of 4 against the SD Padres, who are simply a bad team. I know as well as anyone how inept the Mets are in so many aspects of the game, but the Padres are inferior to the Mets and will always be as far as I’m concerned.  They’re one of those teams that will never be good.  And with Jacob deGrom kicking things off for the Mets on this road trip, he made the Padres look silly as he does to most teams.  deGrom has established himself as a true ace, and if not for the numbers Alex Wood and Max Scherzer have put up, Jake would be in contention for a Cy Young. Eight innings of slightwork made him a winner of 8-straight, and will get a chance later in the week to be the first Met to win 9 straight.  Meanwhile Zack Wheeler was put on the DL for a “stress reaction” aka he’s 3-7 with a 5.21 ERA.

The Mets won 5-3, and other than deGrom’s dominance, the other headline belongs to Jose Reyes who earned a major milestone with his 500th career stolen base becoming the 39th player ever to do so.  And he’s now a part of a really elite group of speedsters, so congrats to Jose Reyes.

Tuesday – Mets won again, taking this one 6-5 and making it 6 wins in their last 7 games.  I was in my 4th dream by the time this one wrapped up, but boy was it nice to wake up to a Mets dub.  Yoenis Cespedes was a single shy of the cycle, Addison Reed almost blew the game in the 9th, yada yada yada, Mets win, Padres stink.

Wednesday – Steven Matz got lit up again, and this one was over early. The Mets lost 6-3, and I slept like a baby.  That’s one positive to take away from this dumpster fire of a season.  Sad to say, but when the team stinks the games are relatively stress-free and there’s no obligation to stay up into the wee hours of the night.

Thursday – Chris Flexen was promoted from AA to make a spot start and was welcomed to the big leagues with a lead off HR.  Mets lost 7-5, nobody really cared because, finally, moves were made…

Lucas Duda was traded to the TB Rays.  Duda was as good as gone at season end anyway, so it was a move that needed to be made.  The return wasn’t much, reliever Drew Smith who played triple-A in the Rays system. It’s not much, but it was either him or nobody.  Lucas Duda played for about a decade with the Mets, second longest tenured player behind only David Wright (who barely counts because he’s more or less a corpse).  Lots of people are sad to see him go, but I am not one of them.  If I had to describe Lucas Duda, I’d say he is a streaky hitter with some big time power.  When he was hitting, he’d crush the ball.  But when he wasn’t he was really bad. Defensively he showed flashes in years past but has declined greatly. Dom Smith will be a major upgrade defensively.

How will Lucas Duda be remembered as a New York Met?  Duda supporters will cite his .801 OPS (13th all-time in franchise history) or 125 home runs (7th all time).  That’s all well and good, and Duda is a fine baseball player that should be able to help the Rays in a DH-centric role. But Lucas Duda will forever be remembered for his errant throw home in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, a throw that I witnessed in person and have not seen since.  It was one of many self-inflicted miscues the Mets made in that series, but it was essentially the finishing blow.  I will never forgive him for fucking up a routine play, and I will not miss him.  I thank Lucas Duda for being better than Ike Davis, and I wish him the best.  But goodbye and good riddance.

Friday – The Mets won 7-5 in the opener against the Mariners sparked by a 3-run 8th inning to give them the lead.  The bullpen was fantastic after Rafael Montero was bad per usual, Michael Conforto hit 2 bombs, and Jay Bruce hit a HR of his own in an overall nice win.  More moves were made…

The Mets traded for AJ Ramos.  Wait what?  Aren’t the Mets sellers?  Don’t they stink?  Yes and yes.  The Mets sent two minor leaguers to the Marlins, RHP Merandy Gonzalez and OF Ricardo Cespedes.  Word from scouts is that both have legitimate potential but are far away from making the majors.  So what exactly does this mean for the Mets and why would they make such a deal for a relief pitcher?  At face value, this is a good move for the Mets.  And the reason for that is because it shows that they plan on competing next year.  Sandy Alderson did nothing to improve the 2017 bullpen, but he is setting up for next season with a clean slate.  AJ Ramos joins Jerry Blevins and Jeurys Familia as three relief pitchers under team control in 2018.  This means the Mets won’t have to scour the market and give multi-year deals to relievers.  Ramos is a capable RP who’s proven himself a decent closer and a suitable arm out of the bullpen.

Saturday – Jacob deGrom’s 8-game win streak came to an end sadly.  As he so often does, he struggled early, settled down, and put together a solid outing.  But the Mets bats were stymied and could not recover from an early 3-0 deficit.  The Mets lost 3-2, and deGrom was tagged with the loss despite 10 K’s over 6 innings.  Positives?  d’Arnaud batting average up to .239 (sad that this is praiseworthy), Neil Walker back in action, 2 more hits for Cespedes.

Sunday – 5th straight Sunday loss, this time by the final of 9-1.  AJ Ramos was not good in his Mets debut.  Seth Lugo was not good.  Trade deadline 24 hours away, that’s the only focus for the Mets and their fans…

Monday (aka Trade Deadline Day) – Heading into the day, the only possible moves would be based around Addison Reed and Asdrubal Cabrera.  Nobody wants Jay Bruce.  Nobody wants Curtis Granderson. There were ties to the Red Sox for Cabrera, and it seemed that this would be the landing place if anywhere.  And a bunch of teams were interested in Reed, and rightfully so.  Turns out it would be Boston who the Mets did business with.  But it was Addison Reed who got traded, and not Asdrubal Cabrera.  Addison Reed was traded to the Red Sox in exchange for three minor league pitchers, Stephen Nogosek (#18 prospect), Jamie Callahan (#23), and Gerson Bautista (#28).  They say Callahan is the closest to MLB-ready, Gerson can dial it up to 98-100 mph, and Nogosek has solid potential.

It would have been nice to bring in a better prospect, but the market dictates the demand.  Reed is a free agent at the end of the year and will be seeking a multi-year contract.  While I like Addison Reed, he’s most likely not going to be a NYM next year, which makes a trade with him a good one solely on principle.  Similar to Duda, it was this (or something like this) or nothing at all.  Reed was a very good Met and played a major role in setting up for Jeurys Familia’s save record last season.  Here’s a quick summary of Addison Reed’s stint in Queens:

In terms of the guys who were not traded (Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker, etc.), they still can potentially be moved in August with waivers.  The Mets and all other teams always put a bunch of trade block players on waivers to gauge league-wide interest.  I doubt anyone will be moved based on the lack of market for offense at the deadline, but you never know.  Overall I give the Mets a passing grade for their trade activity.  Could’ve been better, definitely could have been worse. Who knows if these guys will pan out, but these were good moves for the Mets given the circumstances.

Also on Monday, Sandy Alderson announced that Amed Rosario will be promoted, finally, and activated for Tuesday’s game in Colorado.  The wait is over, and the Amed Rosaria era has begun.  The most highly touted prospect the Mets have had in a decade, the pressure is on despite there being no pressure.  The last two times I can remember being this excited for a prospect was Fernando Martinez, who I think works at Costco, and Matt Harvey who I hate.  If Rosario doesn’t pan out, the Mets are royally fucked for the foreseeable future.  Let’s go Amed.

 

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