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It’s the Most Wondering Time of the Year

The immediate aftermath of the trading deadline is Christmas morning for baseball fans wherein batteries aren’t included, gift receipts aren’t available and you’re left wondering if anybody listened to what you said you wanted when they asked.

The Mets made two deals today. They could help. They could fall short of helping. There’s no doubt they did something, though. The big one [1] was Dilson Herrera [2] and Max Wotell [3] to Cincinnati for Jay Bruce [4]. An earlier version of the deal was Brandon Nimmo [5] as the big name heading to the Reds. Then there was some talk about medical reports holding things up, which brought to mind the whole subject of these things “pending physicals”. When I have to take a physical, my doctor advises me to fast for 12 hours in advance. I imagine every major leaguer remotely on the trading block was delighted as of 4:30 PM to no longer be wandering around peckish and lightheaded.

But I digress. We got Jay Bruce, the National League leader in runs batted in, for a last-place team no less. The Mets have driven few runners in this season. I’m having a hard time not seeing at least some upside to the addition of a bona fide RBI guy. True, he presents redundancies in terms of playing a corner and batting lefty, but he’s under team control, Cespedes might walk after 2016 (or limp through the rest of it), nobody’s ever in ideal shape in that outfield and sometimes you try desperately to stroll the sunny side of the street. I welcome Bruce’s bat and will take a deep breath where lineup configuration is concerned.

Herrera was the second baseman of the future. I’m not sure where his future went. Perhaps the front office saw something in Las Vegas that was not so futuristic for Dillon. I’d have rather hung on to a legit 22-year-old second baseman and given up Nimmo if I had to make a choice, but it didn’t happen that way. Good luck, kid. Have a good career, but not so good that we forever curse the date August 1, 2016.

The other [6] deal: Antonio Bastardo [7] to Pittsburgh for Jon Niese [8]. No, really. When it was announced, I heard myself say “YAY!” and it wasn’t to welcome back Niese. Bastardo has delayed my last train. Enjoy your reacquaintance with all three rivers; jump into any and all of them if you like. As for Recidivist Jonathon, it sounds like he’ll be pitching long relief and hopefully few fits when whoever’s in left, right or wherever misplays a single into a triple. I’m not thrilled to have Niese back, but I’m thrilled to have Bastardo gone. In this funhouse mirror version [9] of Fulmer for Cespedes [10], you apparently have to accept something to get rid of something.

The Mets aren’t out of the playoff race yet. They may be soon. Or they may hang in there clear into October. We don’t know. We’ve made moves and we still don’t know. Nobody ever likes to admit to that reality when the wrapping is crumpled up and the tinsel is taken down. But we might as well.

Good luck Mets, whoever you are.