Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen made waves last offseason with his aggression in the trade market, dealing from the Mets’ minor leagues to bolster the Major League roster with the likes of Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. However, Van Wagenen suggested at the GM meetings that his club will be hesitant to once again dip into the farm system to facilitate trades, reports Tim Healey of Newsday. The Mets’ crop of prospects isn’t an especially deep one—FanGraphs ranks them as having the 22nd-best minor-league system in baseball—and particularly lacks players who are close to the Majors and could contribute in 2020. That said, Healey believes that high-ceiling prospects in the lower minors—a group that includes the likes of Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos, and Matthew Allan, among others—will be hard to pry from Van Wagenen’s hands. After an 86-win season last year, it seems that the Mets feel they can make the jump to contention while still hanging onto their young prospects in hopes of maximizing their competitive window.
Here’s more from around the Senior Circuit…
- Following the Reds’ hire of Driveline founder Kyle Boddy to serve as the organization’s pitching coordinator, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer offers a glimpse into the Reds’ motivation for targeting Boddy, who had previously never been a full-time employee of an MLB club. In tasking Boddy with developing minor league pitchers, the Reds hope to foster a greater continuity between the philosophies implemented in the Majors and minors. With pitching coach Derek Johnson and staff communicating their message to Boddy, the goal is for the pitching corps to be aligned across all levels of the organization. The addition of Boddy represents a continuation of the Reds’ effort to become more forward-thinking in their player development processes under manager David Bell. And the early returns have been promising: in 2019, the Reds ranked among the top five National League teams in ERA, FIP, and xFIP—a drastic improvement over the prior year, in which Cincy was bottom-three in all three categories.
- Shortstop Brendan Rodgers, the Rockies’ first-round draft choice in 2015, hasn’t enjoyed quite as much success as the only two players drafted before him—Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman—but after an injury-shortened debut campaign, Rodgers is recovering well from shoulder surgery and is setting his sights high for 2020, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Rodgers landed on the injured list in June with a shoulder impingement, but he ultimately opted for surgery after nagging discomfort throughout his minor-league career. He’s expected to be fully healthy ahead of spring training, and Rodgers feels he’s past the initial adjustment period, during which he admits shoulder pain and self-imposed pressure affected his performance. A natural shortstop, Rodgers is obviously blocked by teammate Trevor Story at that position, and he’ll have to overtake Ryan McMahon for regular playing time at second base. But given Rodgers’s pedigree and minor-league track record, there’s no doubt that he has the talent to bounce back in 2020.