SAN DIEGO — Just like that, Brodie Van Wagnenen established himself as a frontrunner for 2020 honors:
Caretaker of the Year.
He should push his campaign all the way through 2020, doing no more harm to this jewel franchise — that means not trading any of his starting pitchers or prospects — and ensuring its safety for the upcoming handoff to Steve Cohen.
The Mets’ general manager (for now) departed the winter meetings having agreed in principle to add a pair of starting pitchers on one-year contracts. The cheaper one, Michael Wacha ($3 million guaranteed), brings a pinch of high-end potential attached to his chronic injury issues. The pricier one, Rick Porcello ($10 million), brings durability attached to his mediocrity.
“I think we’re probably the deepest starting rotation in baseball,” Van Wagenen proclaimed, and while the Nationals, Dodgers, Yankees and Indians might lead the line of objectors, wackier sentiments have been expressed from the agent-turned-executive in the last 13 months.
These transactions can help, as can the recent trade with the Astros for athletic outfielder Jake Marisnick and the re-signing of reliever Brad Brach. Even with the…