New York Mets

New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has Mets back to contenders

GM Brodie Van Wagenen, hired by the New York Mets in October, thinks they’re now the favorites in the NL East after an already busy offseason.

The New York Mets, favorites in the NL East? New GM Brodie Van Wagenen certainly thinks so.

Van Wagenen, hired by the Mets in October, didn’t take long to get acclimated to his new role before making an impact. He made a trade with the Seattle Mariners that brought in second baseman Robinson Cano and closer Edwin Diaz. On Tuesday he signed free agent All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos. He also brought back relief pitcher Jeurys Familia, who the old regime traded to Oakland in July.

Of course, the Mets still have reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard in their starting rotation. Adding these pieces to complement their two stars, Van Wagenen believes the team is now set up to be contenders in 2019.

“We can compete in the division right now,” Van Wagenen said Tuesday during a segment on SNY. “Internally, we would argue that we’re the favorites in the division right now.”

The Mets have their work cut out for them if they hope to make up ground on the division champion Atlanta Braves next season. In 2018 the Mets finished 13 games behind the Braves at 77-85. The Braves have only gotten better this offseason, signing former AL MVP third baseman Josh Donaldson. Their young core, led by Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies, will also have an extra year of experience.

The rest of the division, as well, isn’t conceding ground to the Mets. The Washington Nationals signed free agent pitcher Patrick Corbin, who went 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA with Arizona last year, to solidify their rotation that still includes Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Then there are the Philadelphia Phillies, who’ve pledged to spend “stupid” money this offseason chasing top free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

Still, Van Wagenen believes he’s accomplished almost everything he wanted in his first offseason as a big league GM.

“We’ve done a lot of what we set out to do this offseason,” he said. “We shored up the bullpen with two premium arms, we added two middle-of-the-order bats which was key to us…And now we’ve added a catcher that can add to that position.”

He’s also not satisfied just yet. “I’m not going to stop,” he said.

Their new GM isn’t lacking in confidence. Now all the Mets can hope is that he knows what he’s doing.

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