The Mets, in lieu of their need to replace Zack Wheeler in the rotation, are toying with moving Seth Lugo, from their decaying bullpen to a starter. Only for the Mets would this be an option…
The Mets do this all the time when they have a problem, which in this case is finding a reliable starting pitcher to replace the departed Zack Wheeler in their rotation for 2020.
Instead of using some old-fashion imagination in exploring trade possibilities to fill the hole, or God forbid, spending some money in the free-agent market, their first reflex is to fill the void from within.
For most teams, filling a hole from within can work, except for the fact the Mets “within” is all but depleted of starting pitchers, courtesy of Brodie Van Wagenen’s generous donations to the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians in trades made last year.
Mets knee-jerk reaction to fill a hole
We don’t want to know where the Mets would have finished last year without Seth Lugo. In a bullpen that shattered into pieces, Lugo was the mainstay, appearing in 61 games and tossing eighty innings.
Middle relief, set-up man, closer, it didn’t matter. Wherever Mickey Callaway needed him, Lugo answered the bell.
The Mets knee-jerk reflex appears to be – the guy is flexible – heck, he should be able to excel as a starter – no?
Well, maybe. But that’s not the point, which is Seth Lugo until proven otherwise with an influx of proven relievers, IS the Mets bullpen.
And no, that doesn’t count the re-signing of Brad Brach, a small insignificant piece of the puzzle.
The Mets can hope Edwin Diaz bounces back from whatever ailed him (in the head) last year, but I wouldn’t want to head to Vegas, placing a bet that he will.
Or that Jeurys Familia will honestly earn ten percent of the $11 million the Mets are paying him this season – and if we can believe it – next year as well.
A doctor doesn’t remove a patient’s heart to do a transplant until he can see the replacement nearby and ready to go, but apparently not so with the Mets.
They’ll rip the heart out of their bullpen and scurry around, hoping to find a replacement – when?
The Mets are supposedly hot on the trail of Josh Hader, the Brewers flame-throwing closer, who for reasons known only to the Brewers is up for bid in the trade market.
Let the buyer beware because there is no logical reason for the Milwaukee team to trade Hader.
What Seth Lugo wants, he gets?
On several occasions, Seth Lugo has indicated he doesn’t wish to be closing for too long. He wants to be “a legit big-league starter that guys don’t want to face.”
All well and good, except this better not be another case of the Mets capitulating to the whims of a player, as in the I want this catcher, no I want that catcher fiasco that rained on the team last year.
The Mets answer to Seth Lugo if that’s the case should be: “Seth, you are a New York Met. And for the money we are paying you, you will pitch whenever and wherever we say you will. And you will be a happy camper when your paychecks arrive every two weeks.”
Paychecks, by the way, that is due to rise considerably when Lugo enjoys the results of his first arbitration season when $600,000 last year suddenly becomes $2-3 million in 2020.
Rick Porcello is the latest name floated as a starting pitcher the Mets are pursuing as a free agent. There are serious reservations about Porcello, but if Porcello keeps Lugo in the bullpen where he can help the Mets the most, then so be it.
In the meantime, why rob Peter when you know you are going to have to pay Paul…