The 2017 season may be a blessing in disguise.
Yes, it has been frustrating, and the team is no where near where expectations, but in reality, Mets fans got the best possible result for a non-contending team. The team is and has been legitimately out of it.
There was no holding on to veterans because there are “a lot of hits left in those bats” and no “the champagne will taste sweeter” when we win.
The front office recognized correctly in July that it simply wasn’t in the cards for the 2017 Mets and the reloading began.
While Jay Bruce‘s situation might have been handled differently, there was a clear and definite strategy Sandy Alderson employed in unloading every tradable asset – load up on bullpen arms.
Bullpen arms are becoming the new on-base percentage when it comes to what is valued, and those arms are expensive.
Addison Reed, whom the Mets grabbed off the scrap heap in 2015 from Arizona, cost the Red Sox three pitching prospects: Jamie Callahan, Gerson Bautista and Stephen Nogosek. Callahan is already set to be called up this weekend.
There was another theme in the relievers acquired by Sandy Alderson at the July 31st deadline, and now the August 31st waiver-trade deadline. The players acquired have power arms.
Alderson was able to replace the veteran presence left by Reed’s departure by trading for A.J. Ramos, and have a team-friendly option to bring back Jerry Blevins.
Blevins and Ramos are complete pitchers and lower-end velocity fastballs are a good change of pace to a bullpen that figures to have a face-lift in 2018 from many of these midseason acquisition.
The 2018 Mets have a lot of holes to fill in order to get back to contending. Overspending on the bullpen will make it harder to fill those holes.
So, while 2017 was incredibly frustrating, suffering through it may mean a young, relatively inexpensive and dominant bullpen for 2018 with the option to add a piece in July.