This story was excerpted from the Mets Beat Newsletter by Anthony DiComo. To read the full newsletter, click here. And the Subscription To get it regularly in your inbox.
Eager to garner attention at the 2021 trading deadline, the Mets tackled the prospect of a fifth place, draft pick in the first round of 2020 Crowe Armstrong Housefor two months from Javier Baez and over a year Trevor Williams.
They have at least partially regretted it since then.
Although Báez (although a thumbs-down loop) has been productive for the Mets down the stretch, and Williams has been a strong factor for their staff this year, the Mets missed the playoffs in 2021. The cost was significant. Crow-Armstrong, who was injured at the time of the deal, is now healthy and thriving in the Minors as the 75th potential player in baseball. Had he still been in the Mets, Crow-Armstrong would be ranked number four on the MLB Pipeline Francis AlvarezAnd the Britt Patty And the Ronnie Morris.
Billy Ebler He wasn’t the Mets’ general manager at the time of that deal, but he’s determined to avoid repeating the mistake, which is the simplified reason he didn’t get a left-handed catcher or pitcher before this year’s deadline. despite Wilson ContrerasAnd the Sean Murphy Or one of the many left-handed sedatives that could have helped the Mets, Eepler considered the cost too great.
“Some of that undisciplined thinking can lead to years of mediocre performance and doing the same thing over and over again,” Eppler said. “One of the things we’ve talked about here is just trying to maintain that regulatory discipline, to crush any desire to make a quick or hasty decision and to give up large amounts of future world championship prospects in exchange for some marginal gain for now.”
Within this answer, Ebler pointed to the fact that when Mets officials evaluate deals, they do so using analytical models—a common practice across the league. replacing Dominic Smith with Daniel FogelbachFor example, it will increase their odds of winning a championship by a certain percentage. celebrate with Colin Holdman In the same deal you will reduce their odds in future seasons.
Mets owner Steve Cohen He was outspoken in his desire to build something sustainable in Flushing, which in Eppler’s eyes meant navigating the trade deadline without spending any of the organization’s “Top 19 Possibilities.” It’s a group that includes Alvarez, Patti, Mauricio, Mark WindsAnd the Alex Ramirez and Matt Alan And about a dozen others. Statistically speaking, most of these players will not develop into stars. But if the Mets keep their list of potential impact prospects long enough, it will create a pipeline of future shareholders and business chips.
The counterargument is that rationality does not earn titles. As Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman Referring to the hot winter season, he once said, “If you were always rational about every free agent, you would be third on every free agent.” The Dodgers have made deals in the past that many have deemed irrational, and they swing by deadline Yo DarwishAnd the Tria TurnerAnd the Max Scherzer and others. They remained very competitive due to their deep pockets and ability to continue instilling talent into their cultivation system. The Dodgers are not only richer than most teams in baseball. They are smarter too.
It’s a place the Mets longed to get to, and they were willing to sacrifice incremental improvements for this year’s roster to do just that. Contreras’s price has remained high enough that no team has captured him, despite the fact that he plays for the fourth-placed team and could become a free agent after this season. (Chicago’s only incentive to keep its catch was to extend a qualifying bid for him this winter, and to increase the odds of him being re-signed.)
According to a source, the Mets have never come close to Contreras. Ebler said they got some passes almost left, but weren’t able to seal a deal despite having a lot of stock around the league. For example, a person familiar with the negotiations said that the Tigers were looking for multiple offensive pieces in order to approach left Gregory Soto; The Mets had little interest in dealing with players like Vientos or Mauricio for the relief bowler.
In a sense, this is a sound strategy, because the Mets number goes even further Jacob Degrom Scherzer takes them. If either of these two people sustain another injury, the team may not be able to recover. And if both are healthy, what difference will a left-handed Savior make?
But in other words, the current discord window for the Mets looks small. Degrom is 34 years old with a significant injury history and could play his final season as a volunteer. Scherzer is 38 years old and suffers from a growing list of aches and bruises. Taiguan WalkerAnd the Chris Bassett And the Carlos Carrasco Everyone can become free agents after this season. If there was a year to do something irrational, it might be so – even if it meant sacrificing the next Crow-Armstrong, whose ultimate value remains unknown.