(Partial disclaimer: this post hops all over the place, but figured I’d rush it out before I went to work as a means to relieve the brewing internal rage. RIP happiness)
When animals are no longer able to perform any of several uses for a farm that cannot hope to survive solely on loving the animals they have, those animals get put down, eaten, or sold. They’re draining food resources, they’re taking up land that would be better served for agriculture and other, younger animals. Maybe you want to try your hand at raising chickens? They always lay eggs. Not much required but a coop and grain. Maybe instead of livestock, you want to plant orange groves, corn, lettuce—you know, make your land feed the chickens. A proper cyclical ecosystem. And maybe, maybe you’re not cut out to be a farmer at all and every time you cut ties with an animal, you learn that it still had plenty of helpful years left and it’s thriving on another farmer’s land.
That’s an extended metaphor. I only know (or don’t know) as much about farms as that previous paragraph expresses. But the Farmers are the Wilpons, admin, and coaching staff. And the animals are the players. And, well, damn, there are plenty of players who should be dead to even this putrid iteration of the Mets.
Out to Pasture:
- Jose Reyes
- Jay Bruce
- Jose Bautista
- Asdrúbal Cabrera
- Devin Mesoraco
- Todd Frazier
- Anthony Swarzak
- Jerry Blevins
- Jeurys Familia
- Jason Vargas
- Zack Wheeler
Now, there’s an argument to temporarily stand by a couple of those players. Bautista seems to be the only guy immune to the traveling depressive circus that is the Mets right now. Take one look at the dugout and all of the steady ease and joking we saw during early struggles is gone. Even home run celebrations appear a tad dejected. Maybe they’re all realizing that home runs are all they have. That’s how it seems at least. Home runs are fun, everyone digs the long ball, but solo shots just bring us back to simpler, sad times when Granderson was a 30HR 45RBI leadoff guy. Point is, Mets need annoying, all-field slap hitters. Folks who make contact.
As for the players listed:
Reyes beat his wife, possibly coerced her not to testify against him, and shouldn’t be playing Major League Baseball. Also, he’s trash on offense and defense, and his farewell tour became undeserved the minute he choked his wife. (Yes, we’re still talking about that, and you shouldn’t forget that either).
Bruce was a bad contract that we largely thought appeared pretty cheap. That is, until we learned we learned he only had one other offer and that the Mets entered a negotiation competition with themselves. Then, not only that, but Bruce has been injured since Spring Training and should’ve been DL’d indefinitely, pending a more aggressive recovery from plantar fascitis. But, the Mets waited until that foot injury effected his play, and then effected his back, and then the combination of foot injury + back injury caused a hip injury. And only then did the Mets place him on the DL, suddenly aware, it seemed, that it existed. Bruce’s contract needs to go ASAP regardless of any semblance of 2017 returning to his bat.
Bautista has been fun. I mean, it’s Joey Bats. He’s been a pretty consistent on-base guy, seems to be finding his HR swing, and it seems like he’s making every effort to play himself into a contender-trade situation. Good for him if he gets sent somewhere useful.
Cabrera, Mesoraco, and Frazier would be worth keeping if the Mets weren’t in a total free-fall. And, maybe Mesoraco would be most worth retaining. But, we’re going tear-down, and the Mets need to dump the aging vets, and trading a semi-rehabilitated catcher may still get them a decent enough return. Frazier has provided 3B stability but the youth movement needs to happen, and that means him and Cabrera need to go. Cabrera’s been the Mets best offensive threat and the Mets may need to trade him the soonest since injuries always seem right around the corner for Cabrera’s poor legs. I look forward to the Mets drafting Little Cabby in 2028.
Call up the kids. Replace Blevins with Conlon when he’s traded. Blevins seems to be coming around after a near half-season of struggles, so that pumps his value up again. Launch Chris Beck into the hellscape he came from.
The Mets should keep deGrom, Matz, and Syndergaard. It’s a strange irony that Syndergaard has spent most of the last 2 seasons with strange, nagging injuries, while Wheeler is on pace to pitch a full, good, season, and Wheeler’s improvements are exciting. But the Mets need a LHP starter and Matz has equally come around. If the Mets decide to trade Syndergaard and keep Wheeler, that may work out. It could also totally blow up in their faces. (Caveat: if the Mets don’t intend on giving deGrom a contractual commitment, they need to trade him, and I’ll rant and whine about it, but he deserves a contract). If deGrom is traded, the Mets need to keep Matz, Syndergaard, and Wheeler, and run with a rotation of them, Oswalt, and Lugo for the rest of the year.
The aforementioned also assumes that Vargas has been launched as far from the Mets as humanly possible. Keep Oswalt, keep Lugo. Eat a majority of Vargas’ contract so they can get a return that does more than breathe in the minors. The Mets bullpen should be the Mets’ minor league relievers in the vein of Drew Smith, Tyler Bashlor, and Tim Peterson. Bring back Rhame and Sewald. Keep Gsellman if possible.
Will the Mets possibly be worse? Oh, for sure. But will we get to see a team without Reyes? Hopefully. And will we get to see Jeff McNeill? Peter Alonso? Luis Guillorme? Tomas Nido? Regular starts with Kevin Plawecki? Dominic Smith? Yeah. But it also means they won’t lose playing time to players with fabricated “mental breaks” or feel the need to play their big contract guys when they’ve traded all their big contract guys.
It’s time to put the 2018 team out to pasture, run with the farm, and say hello to a Top 5 draft pick. Maybe Cespedes and Wright return (…) and they’ll provide the veteran presence. If not: at least we see what some of our minor leaguers are.