It’s OK, Mets fans. You can exhale. For the time being, you can even iron your No. 34 jerseys if you so desire. For the time being, it would appear Noah Syndergaard isn’t heading anywhere. The Mets have a new catcher, and all it took was writing a check to get that done. Wasn’t that easy?
Wilson Ramos is a Met, and that’s really only part of the story. Ramos is a terrific catcher, a two-time All-Star, and Mets fans are well familiar with him because he used to play for the Nationals, and when he did, he feasted on the Mets (a lifetime slash line against the Mets of .302/.330/.491, with good numbers at Citi Field, too: .282/.301/.396, 27 RBIs in 43 games).
He will cost $19 million over two years, with a club option for 2021.
More to the point is what he didn’t cost.
He didn’t cost Syndergaard, who at the winter meetings seemed to be in the middle of any and all permutations Brodie Van Wagenen was pondering to acquire J.T. Realmuto — two-way deals, three-way deals and one surreal night when it seemed momentum was building to bring the Yankees in on the fun.
He also doesn’t cost Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo or Amed Rosario, all of whom were mentioned in just about every version of a straight-up trade with the Marlins for Realmuto, who was clearly the apple of Van Wagenen’s eye the past few weeks but for whom the Marlins are trying to extract a king’s ransom.
The Mets stared the Marlins down for weeks. There were many days when it seemed almost inevitable the teams would figure out something and that it was surely going to cost the Mets at least one of their most valuable — and popular — young assets.
Now, Van Wagenen’s style clearly is to keep moving forward, and just because Realmuto isn’t a Met, it doesn’t mean all of those players are going to be on the Mets’ roster when they report for spring training in Port St. Lucie in February or for Opening Day in Washington in March.
But for now, it seems the blockbuster phase of the Mets’ offseason is in a lull. They could still make some free-agent signings and likely will in building their bullpen. A.J. Pollock is still lurking, and if he’s healthy, he’s certainly a more favorable center-field option than Juan Lagares.
But it also seems the angst that filled such a large portion of the Mets’ fan base can slide off into a basin for now. This would seem to guarantee Syndergaard, at least, will remain a stalwart — and since the Mets clearly fancy themselves win-now contenders, it makes sense to hand him the ball every fifth day right behind Jacob deGrom.