2020 MLB GM Ratings: The National League East

COLLEGE PARK, MD - JANUARY 18: Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo holds the World Series trophy during the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Purdue Boilermakers at Xfinity Center on January 18, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
COLLEGE PARK, MD - JANUARY 18: Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo holds the World Series trophy during the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Purdue Boilermakers at Xfinity Center on January 18, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) /
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New York Mets
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

MLB GM Ratings: Brodie Van Wagenen, general manager; -2.6 games.

Van Wagenen’s Mets approached 2020 with high hopes that turned out to be unjustified. While the -2.6 rating produced by Van Wagenen’s moves was not decisive in setting the team’s fate, it certainly didn’t contribute to any sort of turnaround, either.

The Mets’ rating was influenced by 29 personnel decisions, of which by far the most consequential was the inability to keep starter Zach Wheeler. His accomplishments in Philadelphia were noted above. One footnote: Wheeler went 2-1 against the Mets.

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Aside from that, New York’s general manager made several moves that appeared to be designed to attract back page attention. They included signing reliever Dellin Betances to a three-year, $14.5 million contract, and trading for catcher Robinson Chirinos and infielder Todd Frazier. None were especially helpful.

To compensate for the loss of Wheeler, Van Wagenen committed a combined $13 million to Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha. They were a combined 2-11 in 19 starts.  Keeping Wheeler would have been far more costly, but also far more productive.

Van Wagenen will soon have a new boss, the Wilpon family having agreed to sell the team to Steve Cohen. Given that his contract runs through 2022, he’s probably secure for at least one more season.

But if the GM’s 2021 moves don’t generate any more positive impact than his 2020 decisions did, don’t be surprised if his new boss contemplates the value of having his own man running the Mets’ front office.

Next. Cincinnati Reds: Feeble offense wastes potential. dark

Here is the annual short-term performance rating of the Mets front office since Van Wagenen was appointed MLB GM prior to the 2019 season:

  • 2019:     +1.0
  • 2020:     -2.6