Typically one for bold and confident statements, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen offered a more measured approach when asked about the trade deadline this week, per Newsday’s Tim Healey. While the Mets will be open to making improvements, Van Wagenen spoke of exercising caution and being “responsible for the future of the organization.” The agent-turned-GM added that he expects other clubs to take a similarly conservative approach due to the short nature of the 2020 season — particularly the post-deadline period. None of this rules out a move of note for the Mets, and Van Wagenen went to the oft-used “opportunistic” as an adjective to describe his mentality as Monday’s deadline loom.
The Mets dropped both games of yesterday’s doubleheader against the Marlins, falling to 12-16 in the process. However, they’re part of a tightly bunched group of NL clubs with mediocre records. The Pirates are currently the only team in the NL more than 2.5 games back from a potential playoff spot.
Some more trade chatter from around the game…
- The Twins are tied with the Rays for the second-best record in the American League, but a major move to further separate them from the pack may not be in the offing. President of baseball operations Derek Falvey instead emphasized to Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune the importance of getting some key internal reinforcements in the near future. Righty Michael Pineda will be eligible to return from a reduced PED suspension Sunday, adding a big arm to the club’s rotation mix. Likewise, third baseman Josh Donaldson, out for much of this month with a calf issue, is nearing a return. Falvey acknowledged taking an overly “conservative” approach to Donaldson’s rehab, given his history of calf troubles and the desire to have him at 100 percent for the playoff push. The Twins are open to trade opportunities, of course, but don’t seem as pressed to make a move thanks to their strong start and existing depth.
- On the opposite side of the coin, Pirates general manager Ben Cherington is “trying to sell everything,” one rival executive tells Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. That’s hardly a surprise given the Pirates’ miserable start to the 2020 season and the recent regime change that installed Cherington atop the baseball ops hierarchy. Cherington will have a difficult line to walk as his best chips (Keone Kela and Joe Musgrove) have injury concern while others who should be appealing (e.g. Gregory Polanco, Josh Bell, Adam Frazier) have gotten out to disastrous starts that will likely weaken the offers submitted by other clubs (or eliminate interest entirely).
- Christian Vazquez knows that the Red Sox will be fielding offers for him over the next five days, writes Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, but he hopes to remain in Boston and says he’d prefer to spend his whole career with the Sox. That’s obviously out of his control at the moment, with the Sox likely willing to move just about anyone outside of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. As Speier examines, the history of starting catchers changing hands and making a sizable impact during deadline season is more limited than some might think. Vazquez himself weighed in on the challenges that would exist in jumping to a new club and trying to educate himself on a new pitching staff and build a rapport with so many new arms, likening it to being a “rookie” all over again. Vazquez is guaranteed $6.25MM in 2021 and has a $7MM option for the 2022 season, though, which does make him a rather appealing trade target for clubs with catching needs that span beyond 2020.