Pretty much since the advent of this year’s spate of Jacob deGrom/Mets pitching trade rumors, I’ve tended to doubt, when push came to shove, that the Mets would actually trade an ace two and a half years before free agency. I may very well think they should, but I’ve had my doubts on the would.
For one thing, despite their horrific 2018 season, there are a lot of individual parts on the Mets that look pretty good going into a 2019 season that could see the Nationals down, the Marlins rebuilding, and the Phillies and Braves still youthful. If they just hang onto everyone, get healthy, and make a strategic addition or two, it’s not that implausible to see them competitive again next year.
For another thing, with GM Sandy Alderson stepping away because of a recurrence of cancer, I wasn’t sure the Mets would have the organizational clarity at the top (they have sort of a three-headed fill-in GM situation going on) to make such a direction-changing trade.
But I may have been wrong in this thinking. Or at least, I may not have properly accounted for a big part of what has driven the LOLMets era: ownership.
What’s happening to the Mets is no accident. It’s a pattern with the same deep roots: dysfunction that starts with ownership and rains down on everything below it. 10 Degrees looks into that dynamic and much more: https://t.co/8YlnuEy2N3 pic.twitter.com/A6nAKd8O7g
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 23, 2018
As Passan goes on to say, he’s heard another executive openly wondering whether they can land deGrom in a trade by leveraging Mets ownership’s desire for PR win. Like, because they might believe landing a huge return in trade would make them look good (especially relative to the Yankees, against whom they are always comparing themselves).
It’s gotta be a terrifying notion for Mets fans that their ownership may get so involved in baseball decisions – and for the wrong reasons – that they’ll push through a trade that may not be the right move in the long-term for the organization.
Of course, if a PR win is what pushes the Mets to make a move, then it probably wouldn’t be with the Cubs, who don’t have the splashy, headline-creating prospect capital to pull off a trade that would please Mets ownership. Nevertheless, this remains a crazy trade season storyline to watch …