Van Wagenen: Mets Can Be A Playoff Team In 2019

LISTEN: Mets GM Joins Mike Francesa

Mike's On
February 11, 2019 - 6:33 pm

By WFAN.com

On Thursday, the Mets will commence preseason activities when their pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Florida.

The full squad will arrive at the team’s facilities in Port St. Lucie on February 18. A lot has changed since last year, both on the diamond and in the front office. New general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has substantially overhauled a squad that finished 77-85 last year.

On Monday, Van Wagenen joined Mike Francesa on WFAN to talk about the offseason and the new season that lies ahead. Van Wagenen was asked if he thinks his new-look roster can compete in 2019, and his answer was definitive.

“One hundred percent,” said Van Wagenen. “I believe we can contend. I believe that we can win. I think our players believe that we can win, and we have every intention to do so … We think we can contend. We think that we can be a playoff team. How many games it takes to makes the playoffs, time will tell, but our intention is to win enough.”

The Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, when they lost in the NL wild card game to the San Francisco Giants.

A few of the pickups made by Van Wagenen this winter have been in the infield, which led Francesa to wonder how all of the new players would be able to see enough playing time. Again, Van Wagenen had an assured answer.

“First with (Robinson) Cano, he’s going to be a primary second basemen. He’s also 36-years-old. (Jed) Lowry is 35, (Todd) Frazier is 33. We want to manage the workload of those guys and not have any of the three have to play 150 games. In fact, we think we’ll get more performance out of them if they’re not in the lineup that often.”

MORE: Citak: 5 Biggest Questions Facing Mets Entering Spring Training

Van Wagenen also touched on the Jacob deGrom situation. DeGrom and the Mets avoided arbitration and agreed to a $17 million deal for 2019, but negotiations on a long-term contract have not come to anything yet.

“Our goal is definitely to have him be a part of this future beyond the two years that he has remaining under his control. He knows we want him to be a part of it. Whether or not we can ultimately agree on something, or whether the timing is now or whether it's down the road, there will be no mistaking the fact that he is a franchise player for us that we hope can be that for years and years to come.”

Listen above to Mike Francesa's full interview with Brodie Van Wagenen.