By Steven Inman
As the entire baseball world knows by now, the Mets had a deal in place to reacquire All-Star centerfielder Carlos Gomez for rehabbing RHP Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores. The situation was a mess as the Mets left Wilmer Flores on the field Wednesday during the entire game with rumors swirling that he had been dealt. The Mets had concerns about a hip condition that Gomez had and pulled out of the deal. Brewers GM Doug Melvin was obviously not pleased with the deal falling apart and said he wouldn’t be discussing any more deals with the Mets during the trade deadline so Gerardo Parra will not be coming to the Mets either. The Brewers swiftly moved Gomez and RHP Mike Fiers to the Astros for a hoard of prospects. The whole ordeal was very interesting as we learned a few things about the current state of the New York Mets.
1. The Mets have the payroll flexibility to add another contract.
Sandy Alderson was right last week when he said to reporters that he had the go ahead to add another contract to the Mets $100M payroll. That statement seemed highly unlikely to come to fruition even a few months ago. Gomez is making $8M this season and $9M next season in the final year of his contract. While that is reasonable for a player of his caliber it seemed highly unlikely the Mets would be able to take on that kind of money when the season started. The Mets have also discussed a trade for Jay Bruce who will earn $12.5M in 2016 and has a $13M club option for 2017 and while they may need to be creative to fit that contract on their financial books, perhaps this club isn’t as broke as they have been in previous seasons.
2. The Mets are more than willing to trade Zack Wheeler.
Zack Wheeler’s name had surfaced in trade dialogue with clubs such as the Rockies and Cubs over the winter in the Mets never ending search to acquire a hitter. Conventional wisdom said with his value down after spring Tommy John surgery, the Mets would hold on to Wheeler at least until his value was back up. That no longer appears to be the case as the Mets have discussed moving Zack with nearly every club that has a middle of the order hitter available. At this point it would be a surprise if Wheeler made his return from Tommy John with the Mets. The Mets have been very impressed with the work of pitching prospect Michael Fulmer and believe Wheeler is now expendable.
3. There is a serious miscommunication problem between Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins.
When Brewers GM Doug Melvin sensed their was a chance that the Carlos Gomez trade could get done he notified his manager Craig Counsell immediately to let Gomez know. Most organizations believe it is important to keep the manager in the loop by not Alderson. If anything it was more important for Alderson to relay that information to Collins than it was for Melvin as the Mets were in the middle of a game and Flores should have been removed from the game immediately to prevent an injury. Collins was visibly frustrated in his post game interview and really had no idea that a trade was possible until a player during the game told him Flores had been crying.
4. The Mets believe their window to win is right now.
The Mets have made more trades to add players this week than they had made in Alderson’s 5-year history as Mets General Manager. They have been in talks on seemingly every hitter and seem very determined to get one. At this point it would be a surprise if the Mets didn’t add some kind of bat by 4:00pm Friday. The Mets aren’t worried about putting players like Michael Cuddyer or Juan Lagares on the bench despite their contracts. In previous seasons the Mets may not have acquired a corner outfielder if they already had one struggling on the team with a large contract, They seem to understand that Cuddyer isn’t working out and instead of getting him healthy and then making sure he plays everyday, the club is more focused on upgrades.
Having said that what is next for the Mets?