The Mets are exposed as a team desperate for starting pitching, and this only makes them vulnerable at the deadline. Still, the flag says Go.
The Mets won’t like it, but they may be forced to trade off some big pieces to get the starting pitchers they desperately need within the next nine days.
Acting general manager Zack Scott was on the “Big Time Baseball” podcast Tuesday and confirmed, “That’s definitely our priority and has been for a while.”
Hope for the quick return of Carlos Carrasco was dashed when a rehab start in Triple-A turned into a disaster. He walked three and allowed three home runs in 1⅔ innings. There’s no word from the Mets about whether he was just awful or something still bothering him?
The Mets rotation for the weekend series at Citi Field against the Toronto Blue Jays is tentatively set with Tyler MeGill on Friday, Taijuan Walker on Saturday, and Jerad Eickhoff to close out the series.
After that, it’s Marcus Stroman to face the Braves in Game 1 of a twin bill and a big ole’ blank showing for the second game.
So there is your Mets rotation as things stand today, and no one can feel comfortable thinking this group is good enough to hold the lead the Mets currently enjoy in the NL East standings, much less in the playoffs.
Will The Mets Have To Beg?
To be sure, the hunt is on to bring in two proven major league starters, but it’s not as simple as just finding them, the deals have to be brokered, and with teams knowing the Mets’ state of affairs, Jake Scott may find himself at the beggar’s table giving up more than he normally would.
Who these teams and players are is endless, but here’s a couple who might fit the bill.
Jose Berrios is team controllable for one more year before he reaches free agency in 2023. If acquired from the Minnesota Twins, the Mets would be responsible for about $2.5 million of his 2021 salary.
The trouble is that Berrios is widely sought by several teams, and to get real with the competition, the Mets would need to part with a player like Dominic Smith, who would fit perfectly in the AL and the Twins DH/First Baseman.
Sean Manaea, who is 6-6, 3.28, with two complete games and two shutouts in 19 starts for the Oakland A’s, is another Mets candidate, and he has the same contractual status as Berrios.
However, this time, the Mets are dealing with a team firmly entrenched as an AL playoff Wild Card team, so Scott will first need to find out from the A’s what and who they are looking for in return.
Nevertheless, Berrios (27) and Manaea (29) supply a considerable upgrade to the Mets rotation; neither is a rental. Especially when added to Jacob deGrom (when he returns), Taijuan Walker, and Marcus Stroman, who by the way is a free agent himself in 2022, the Mets are set not only this year but well into next year.
Mets: If All Else Fails…
The Mets have another option, but albeit, it would be a risky one with Mets fans.
They can blow the roof off all trade deadline maneuvers if they let it be known Michael Conforto is available for a front-line starter. With Scott Boras as his agent, he’ll be pushing Conforto to go where the money is highest. Conforto says he wants to resign with the Mets, but you know how that goes…
With no game scheduled today, this gives Scott and Sandy Alderson time to huddle with Assistant GM’s Bryn Alderson and Ian Levin, Manager Luis Rojas, and their scouting director Mark Tramuta.
Needless to say, the clock is ticking, and we ain’t heard nothin’ yet…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Marty Mart Cole Hamels, Matt Harvey, and Berrios Reportedly, the Mets have already or will attend a workout by previously injured Hamels, and Harvey sure would be a hoot.
Dave Schostkewitz Go with the bats we have and grab a starter, reliever, and a closer ESPECIALLY a closer. Would love a lights out closer, any available? What, no faith in Diaz?
Rob Willms I think they need bullpen help more.
Victor Soler Texas is giving Gallo away..why not go after Kyle Gibson
Christopher Galagotis Bull pen. Everyone is hitting the panic button and forgetting about Thor and our supposed new toy Kumar Rocker… If He’s that good. Until Diaz is moved to a different roll then things will be better. If the Wilpons didn’t stick it to Cohen we would still have Wheeler and nothing to worry about in the rotation The bullpen again!