It was a interesting season in met land, full of ups and downs. Lets take a look at some of the bigger decisions/choices made during the year.
- The first big move of the year was to send Fransisco Lindor packing. While the SPs i got back in return underperformed on the year, having them to back up deGrom allowed me to accumulate the ammo i needed to go big game hunting and bag Juan Soto (more on him in point 3). Lindor, who it looks like is about to be robbed of his rightful MVP, had a fantastic year for San Diego, both at the plate and defensively. Ultimately though, i hated his contract, those last years are gonna be bad. Ive said it before but i would have amnestied Lindor if no trade presented itself. Trea Turner provides me 90% of Lindors offense (though much inferior defensively) on a much much better contract. Both players are 28 but Turner has 6 years left on his contract worth $138 Mil (last two years are player and team options at that) while Lindor has 9 years for $288 Mil fully guaranteed. Im willing to take the slight loss in production for the $10 Mil savings a year and none of those super painful years on the back end.
- The second major decision was how to handle the “deGrom situation”. Unequivocally the best pitcher in the game, but 32 (at the time). I initially decided that trading him was the right move. A blockbuster with the Padres that would have sent Jacob and Syndegaard to SD in return for Fernando Tatis Jr. was agreed to in principal before deGrom killed it with his No-Trade clause (Not the craziest trade idea of the year, see point 4). The thinking there being that as good/great as the next couple of season of deGrom and Thor would be, in the long run id get more production from the next decade of Tatis at SS. But deGrom not being willing to waive his NTC meant that we needed to change the direction of the season. If Jake wouldnt leave then the choices left to NY were to waste the remaining years of his prime or to go out and try and win the whole damn thing. Our subsequent trades (and nonexistent minor league system) can attest to our taking that second option. Im happy with how things turned out because deGrom was phenomenal. He is a nuclear deterrence, i honestly wasnt sweating the one game Wildcard that much because i knew i had the figuritive and literal ace up my sleeve. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for deGrom art with me.” He won the pitching triple crown, Cy Young and even the Silver slugger for pitchers.
- 3. Traded for Juan “Freaking” Soto. This one is pretty self explanatory, Soto is one of the top players in the game, bringing him in to anchor the lineup is a trade id make ten times out of ten. And while it “mortgaged the future” Soto is 22, like the idea with Tatis, having him potentially for the next decade in blue and orange was a opportunity I couldnt pass up. I mean what are the chances I trade him?
- 4. “The Trade of the (21st) Century” Juan Soto for Ronald Acuna. Unfortunately this one couldnt come to fruition but it was fun as hell to work on. In 1949 the Yankees and Red Sox owners discussed trading their superstars, Joe Dimaggio and Ted Williams, because it was thought that the lefty Williams would benefit from the short porch in Yankee stadium while Dimaggio could ping doubles off the Monster all day (and play next to his brother Dom in the OF). My thinking here was similar. Acuna and Soto are both stellar players, but Acuna would prolly be a bit better playing in a Citifield geared more toward right handed hitters while Soto could flourish in a Atlanta park built for his lefty power. In the end cooler heads (ie: Atlanta) prevailed, but its a trade I cant help thinking about still.
- 5. The rest of the trades- Brough in 25 year old Devers, 27 year olds Turner and Frazier, along with the aforementioned 22 year old Soto. Thats replacing half the lineup with good, young players under cheap team control for years. Traded away all my good minor leaguers but atleast its for guys I should have playing for me for years to come.
2021 Preseason Goals:
Challenge Atlanta for the division- I think I did put together the team to beat the Braves, but injuries got in the way of us making it a real race. Finished 10 games back in the end, gotta consider that a L.
Get Cheaper- Mission accomplished here. I mentioned above how the move from Lindor to Turner is a financial windfall both in the short and longterm. Similarly, bringing in replacements for Conforto, Stroman and Syndegaard (who were all in the last year of their contracts and due big extensions) saved us from having to add tens of millions to the books for the foreseeable future.
Get Better- Might not have won a ring this year but no team did more to improve according to the vaunted N.O.J.S.O.R metric than the Mets.