In an interview with WFAN, New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen continued to express nothing but confidence in his revamped roster, telling the host “we’re pretty pleased with where we are at right now”.
When prodded about making any additional moves heading into the season, Van Wagenen alluded to keeping a consistent eye on any available players that could improve the Mets.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to be done. We’re always going to be keeping our eyes open […], keeping communications open,” he said. “We’ve been busy. We tried to address major areas of weakness. Overall, I like what we’ve created.”
Brodie gave some updates on the team’s positional players, including Robinson Cano possibly spending time at first base (“Won’t be a total shock if he comes in late in games”), rookies Peter Alonso and J.D. Davis (“The kids are going to have to earn their way”), Jeff McNeil (“His focus […] is going to be a transition to the outfield”), and Amed Rosario (“Made some adjustments in the second half, showed all the promise in the world […] The sky’s the limit.”).
Van Wagenen touched on Jed Lowrie‘s expected role but wouldn’t reveal too much.
“His primary position will be batting second in the lineup. When Cano faces a tough lefty, Lowrie will be in there. We don’t want to overuse Cano,” Van Wagenen said, before giving a rough estimate of how many games the 36-year-old could play in this year. “One hundred forty is probably a pretty good number.”
As for the surplus of talented positional players on the Mets’ roster heading into Spring Training, Van Wagenen sees a lot of moving parts that, if used correctly, could result in a high level of success for this team.
“I think there are a lot of [positional] openings. We have so many good players, good options. [We could] use a lot of variations,” Van Wagenen said. “There will be at-bats for everyone.”
Van Wagenen confirmed that the team and Jacob deGrom‘s representation are “in communication” adding that “we’ve had [a] dialogue with his agent”, and also spoke highly of middle-of-the-rotation starters Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz.
“[Wheeler’s] performance speaks for itself. He’s got a different bounce in his step, in the confidence he projects,” he said. “[Matz] is going to be a key guy to our team this year.”
Brodie has big things in mind for Mets skipper Mickey Callaway as well, noting “he learned a lot last year”, before talking up the experience and support he will receive from his coaching staff in Dave Eiland, new bench coach Jim Riggleman, hitting coach Chili Davis, and other, before declaring “Mickey’s going to shine this season”.
Apparently, MC isn’t the only guy in blue and orange that Van Wagenen has faith in this year. The Mets’ first-time GM continued to set the bar extremely high for his ball club, even mentioning the postseason as a clear goal.
“We’re going to focus on us. If we do the things we’re capable of, we’re going to win. We’re not afraid of the competition outside of the division, and we’re certainly not afraid of the teams inside the division,” he said. “Talent. Drive. Conviction. Those three elements will give us the opportunity to be a winning team. We will and should be a playoff team.”
How many days until the season starts?