MINNEAPOLIS -- Brodie Van Wagenen likes to trade.
The first-year general manager has already completed eight trades with seven teams in his eight-plus months as the Mets’ top executive.
Most of those trades have not panned out thus far, and an alarming trend has developed. Three times already the Mets have either overpaid in deals for players they later cut ties with, or they fail to maximize value from a player’s departure.
The latest example of this came Wednesday when the team traded righty starter/reliever Wilmer Font –who had been designated for assignment earlier this month – to the Blue Jays for cash considerations. Font produced a 4.94 ERA with the Mets spanning 15 games, and is hardly irreplaceable.
However, to acquire Font, the Mets sent hard-throwing prospect Neraldo Catalina to the Rays in May. Catalina is only 19 and there’s no guarantee he will ever reach he majors, but a prospect is a better return than minimal savings.
The Mets also traded three prospects to the Brewers for outfielder Keon Broxton in the offseason only to designate him for assignment in May after he struggled. They later traded him to the Orioles for international slot money.
The international slot money is more helpful than cash considerations, but the Mets essentially gave away three prospects who perhaps could have been used for another trade down the line. Broxton tallied only 53 plate appearances before the Mets opted for veteran Carlos Gomez, who also was designated for assignment.
The third and final example featured catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who mashed three homers to beat the Yankees on Monday night.
The Mets released d’Arnaud after they were unable to find a trade, and d’Arnaud, a California native, then signed with the Dodgers.
He managed all of one at-bat in one game before being shipped to the Rays for cash considerations. D’Arnaud has since managed to revive his career.
In receiving cash for d’Arnaud, the Dodgers outperformed the Mets.
That situation can in some ways be attributed to bad luck since the Rays needed a catcher after suffering injuries to their pair of backstops, but perhaps the Mets could have held onto d’Arnaud a little longer and perhaps found a taker.
This trend is one the Mets need to examine since these little losses can add up in the long run, and the team’s biggest trade is already setting the organization back.
Acquiring Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano could be one of the organization’s all-time blunders with prospect Jarred Kelenic appearing to be a star in the making.