Ramos to Mets and More To Come

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

You can argue that the Mets are a better team than they were in September. Another need was completed and made official Tuesday when Wilson Ramos signed on as the catcher. He is an upgrade over Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki. If healthy, Ramos is a good fit and will provide the production from a position that has got nothing from the Mets lineup the past few years.

And with this latest acquisition, GM Brodie Van Wagenen continued that aggression as the Mets have become the busiest team making the moves this offseason. And count on it, as Brodie said again Tuesday morning at Citi Field, “We are not done.”

Four all-stars in a matter of two weeks in Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, and  Wilson Ramos and the Mets have filled most of their needs. Still to come, and take this as more than speculation, a left-hander or two for the bullpen and a right-handed hitter for the outfield.

We have learned about Brodie Van Wagenen, in his limited tenure, he can throw a good right and left.  And at not sacrificing prospects or Noah Syndergaard, if that was ever true, the Mets obtained a veteran catcher in  Wilson Ramos who was always on their radar. In two years perhaps J.T. Realmuto talks will return, for now the Mets can proceed with Ramos and a $19 million contract.

Yes, it’s too early to grade these moves with eight weeks before spring training. There are question marks about Ramos and the injuries of a torn ACL, hamstrings, a broken hand. That caused him to be on the field an average 100 games since 2013, however, the two-time All-Star is one of three catchers to have two seasons with 400 plate appearances, with an OPS of 120 or more the past three years.

“If he remains healthy two years the Mets will be very pleased with Wilson,” a high ranking NL official said.  At the Winter Meetings last week in Las Vegas, all the talk was about the Mets and when was the last time an offseason was like this one?

Brodie Van Wagenen is reason for the talk. He is making things happen for the Mets, and one source said, Omar Minaya who was retained in this revamped front office, has been instrumental in guiding the new GM.

Ramos said, “I felt really comfortable in the room with them,” regarding his meeting last week with Mets brass and Van Wagenen in Las Vegas. “They gave me confidence and I felt that was one of the reasons I chose to be with this team.”

They sold Ramos on the core he will catch. NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz is not a bad foursome.  He was sold on the manager Mickey Callaway, previous stints with the Nationals and Phillies and familiar territory with the NL East.

And in the Cano trade came Edwin Diaz, the best closer in the game. That was significant and for Wilson Ramos, the opportunity now to catch Jacob deGrom and Edwin Diaz was the right challenge. This process of putting the Mets back into contention was just about complete and there is more to come.

The remaining process for Brodie Van Wagenen will not be a major punch. With Realmuto out of the picture, Adam Jones could be added for the outfield. Jones and his reps met with Van Wagenen in Las Vegas. Juan Lagares, as of now, is expected to be a part of the outfield.

A source said, as has been reported, the Mets could make an offer for outfielder A.J. Pollock, considered the best among the free agents on the market. And Andrew Miller is not out of the picture that will fill a need for a left-hander out of the bullpen.

So when Brodie Van Wagenen says, “We’ve done a lot of what we set out to do this offseason,” he is not wrong. When he said, “We would argue that we’re the favorites in the division right now,” that can be questioned.

The Mets are better but there are still the division winning Atlanta Braves, the Phillies, and the Nationals. They, too, made improvements and we are months from Opening Day. Contenders, you can say for sure and with that core four on the mound there is always a chance.

The Mets got a viable closer with Edwin Diaz to finish the job.  But Tuesday, and for the next few years, they also obtained a viable and All-Star catcher they have not had that in a long time.

More so, there is no stopping the Brodie Van Wagenen commitment to put a winning team on the field. It’s working and there is more to come without J.T. Realmuto and with Noah Syndergaard. Amed Rosario, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and prospects still in the loop,

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