The New York Mets showed off their newest players at a press conference this morning, introducing Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the New York media. The controversial trade, which saw the two All Stars come to Queens in exchange for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, and three prospects, has been a lightning rod for #MetsTwitter over the perceived overpay in terms of minor league talent. Mets’ General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen made it clear during the press conference today that he wasn’t worried about criticism for the deal, which he indicated is just the first step of what should be a very busy offseason for the Mets.
Van Wagenen also provided more insight in an interview with SNY’s Steve Gelbs after the press conference. In terms of why a prospect like Jarred Kelenic was included in the trade, Van Wagenen noted that Kelenic was only 19 years old and may not be on the same timetable as the team’s current core of players, which includes Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario, and Jeff McNeil. Cano and Diaz will be around for at least the next four years, so the Mets can now add more pieces to create a more sustainable window of winning right now. Van Wagenen also indicated that he wanted to change the Mets’ culture of relying on too many “what-if” scenarios, creating a foundation of talent so that the team doesn’t fall apart if something doesn’t go according to plan.
This should be music to the ears of Mets’ fans, who have seen their team operate far too long with the mindset of hoping everything goes right in order to win. Van Wagenen is actively pursuing more premier talent in order to help the Mets win now, and that is a significantly more aggressive approach than Sandy Alderson took over the past few years. It may be easy to question Van Wagenen’s methods, but you cannot deny that the results have been exciting. Van Wagenen, along with Cano in the press conference, indicated that the GM has more moves planned to try and help the Mets win this season. It should be a very active winter in Flushing, something that hasn’t always been the case, and at the least the franchise will be gracing the back pages of newspapers for something other than ineptitude.