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Is it really that crazy to think the Mets can win the NL East?

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Hey, the New York Mets didn’t hire Brodie Van Wagenen to be just another conventional general manager. They could have gone with the latest 30-something prodigy from Harvard or Yale if they wanted to do that.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

(OK, Van Wagenen went to Stanford, the “Harvard of the West” except with a prettier campus.)

The longtime player agent was an out-of-the-box hire by Jeff Wilpon, the much-criticized COO of the Mets (dad Fred is the majority owner), and the new 44-year-old general manager has proved in less than two months on the job that he’s not afraid of the big move and not afraid to act quickly. In one sense, that already separates him from most of his peers.

Of course, it’s early in the offseason. The Phillies are certainly not done and the Braves may have a couple of moves on the margins (or maybe they’ll surprise us and trade for Realmuto or Corey Kluber) and maybe that projection is a little soft. The Nationals have signed Patrick Corbin and upgraded their bullpen and catcher, but may still sign a second baseman and you never know what will happen with Bryce Harper. In other words, the rosters are far from set, so let’s not print any playoff tickets just yet.4

I also like what Van Wagenen has done. Yes, the Cano/Diaz trade has a chance to backfire if Jarred Kelenic, the team’s first-round pick in 2018, develops into a star and Diaz blows out his elbow and Cano gets old overnight. Everyone trashed the Cano part of the trade, ignoring the fact that he’s actually still a good player and hit very well (.317/.363/.497) after he returned from his 80-game suspension for taking a banned substance. Even playing just half the season, he was worth 3.2 WAR and while he’s 36, he has those quick hands and baseball instincts that suggest he should remain productive for at least two or three more seasons. Yes, the last couple of years of the contract may not look good, but in dumping Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak, the Mets’ payroll wasn’t adversely affected for the first couple of years.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

Plus, roster flexibility is so important these days and now the Mets can slide Jeff McNeil into a utility role or maybe he takes over at third base if Todd Frazier continues to decline. Or maybe Cano slides over to first base if Peter Alonso isn’t ready. The Mets were 28th in the majors in bullpen ERA and now should have one of the best combos in the game in Familia and Diaz. (On the strength of those two additions, FanGraphs currently rates the Mets’ bullpen third best in the majors.) Ramos has been one of the best-hitting catchers and provides a significant upgrade over what the Mets received in 2018 (.208/.297/.355).

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