The aura around the New York Mets these days is bright. With a revamped roster, arguably one of the most competitive and complete pitching staffs in baseball (starters and relievers), as well as a newfound depth that this team hasn’t had the luxury of in many moons, the excitement surrounding this ball club is palpable.
Whether you personally feel they did enough or not this offseason, it appears Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has total confidence in his new-and-improved roster. Despite the team’s inactivity on the elite free agent front (read: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado), the Mets have made plenty of solid additions on both sides of the chalk.
Building the organization’s upper-level depth was clearly at the top of Van Wagenen’s list of priorities this offseason, and the Mets should be a more competitive team because of it. There were simply too many occasions over the last few seasons when the team found themselves shorthanded of viable major-league options when the need arose.
In an outstanding interview with Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, Van Wagenen revealed that each and every move he made this offseason was calculated and carried out with the best interests of the Mets in mind. And no more will this organization let outside interference deter them from competing.
“I think we had a number of clear areas of improvement we needed to make, and we were very vocal about what those areas were and we were methodical about trying to address them,” Van Wagenen said. “So now that we have done that, we feel really good and really confident about the club that we’ve built […].”
“We are not going to worry about the weather. We are not going to worry about an injury. We are not going to worry about which one of our competitors sign another free agent or trade for another player,” Van Wagenen told Kernan. “We are going to control what we can, and we going to commit to it every day. We have conviction [in] everything we do.”
Conviction has become a bit of a buzzword around Flushing, no? Hey, if that’s what it’s going to take for this Mets team to vault themselves back into the conversation in the National League East, we’re all for it. If the culture really has changed that significantly — before a pitch has even been thrown in PSL — all the better.
The Wilson Ramos and Jed Lowrie signings, alone, took this team from a .500 ball club to borderline contenders, in this writer’s opinion. Apparently, those two additions, as well as the bevy of other moves the first-time GM has made this offseason lead back to his initial transaction at the helm of the Mets way back in early December.
“The move we made at the start of the offseason of bringing in [Edwin] Diaz and [Robinson] Cano was a signal to everyone in the game, most significantly [free agents], that we’re in this,” Van Wagenen said. “And we are one of the teams that [are] absolutely trying to win […].”
“We believe we can win, and I think because of that we should not be afraid to say it. We do believe it. It’s just not me saying it. Our players believe it, our coaching staff believes it, and I think that confidence has resonated across all of us and it gives us the conviction to be able to say it out loud.”
Preach, Brodie. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m absolutely pumped for baseball season. LGM.