In part one we went over some needs and possible players to help the offense of the New York Mets. In reality the offense for the Mets is not the major problem right now unfortunately it is the starting pitching staff which was supposed to be one of the best in baseball and the bullpen. Injuries have been a huge problem and also the inability for our healthy starters to pitch deep into games has overworked the bullpen. Terry Collins not understanding how to handle a pitching staff is also doing no one any favors. Lets look at the landscape of our starting pitching staff quick and then go over some options to bolster this situation.
Injured- Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo.
Might as well be injured ERA over 5- Matt Harvey (5.63), Robert Gssellman (7.07), Adam Wilk (12.27), Sean Gilmartin (13.50, Tommy Milone (6.32).
The rest of the starting staff has done an ok job but nothing to get excited about. Jacob Degrom at least has his stuff back showing up with 67 k’s in 48 innings but the rest of his results have been sub par for his standards so far going 2-1 with a 4.07 ERA. Zach Wheeler who started out rough is pitching well of late and so far on the season is 2-2 with a 3.76 ERA. I have faith in both of these guys to keep getting better but that still leaves 3 spots in the rotation that are problems right now.
So what options do we have to help this staff out, Lets take a look…
internally The Mets have no starters that are major league ready in terms of prospects right now. Further down the pipeline we have some promising prospects including Justin Dunn, Marcus Molina, Thomas Szapucki, Anthony Kay, Merandy Gonzalez, and P.J Conlon. None of these guys are options right now and probably will not be options this season.
The only help coming internally in the immediate future will be in the form of Steven Matz and Seth Lugo who have begun rehab assignments so we must pray they have no setbacks and are back within a month. The 2 of them would provide a huge boost obviously, but again Matz has never remained healthy and Lugo has a Partially Torn UCL so hard to count on them.
This leaves us to going outside the organization for help so here are a couple of options for the starting rotation. Lets keep in mind that at this stage of the season it is hard to get quality arms and I also do not see the Mets unloading top prospects for a starting pitcher at any point this season because at the end of the day I feel they would much rather use those bullets for the offense and bullpen.
1) Derek Holland-White Sox- Derek Holland to me has always been a guy who has underachieved throughout his career mostly due to injuries. HIs stuff is very good and has won games when he is actually on the mound. His career win/ loss record is 65-53 so this guy is very capable. So far this season for the White Sox he has pitched well with a 3-3 record and a 2.43 era. He is a free agent at the end of the season so the White Sox asking price should be reasonable and he is defiantly worth a few mid level prospects for his services the rest of the season. He is my first choice also because he is lefty and if we do happen to get things together and want to beat the Nationals having a lefty starter to go against Murphy and Harper is helpful.
2) Trevor Cahill-Padres- Cahill is back to starting after pitching for the World Series Champion Cubs out of the bullpen. So far this season for the Padres he has done well going 3-2 with a 3.27era. Cahill early in his career had success as a starter and then struggled which ended up landing him in the Cubs bullpen reviving his career. Still just 29 years old it is reasonable to believe he has figured it out and can be effective. Cahill is a free agent at the end of this season and his price should be pretty low so I think he would be a solid target. What I really like about Cahill is he can hold down a spot in the rotation and if we ever get all our guys healthy he can easily shift to a bullpen role later in the season.
3) Bartolo Colon-Braves- Every season we make a trade with the Braves for spare parts so why not another one. Colon has been horrible this year with a 6.80 era but we all know what he is capable of. The Braves are not going anywhere and Bart’s salary is not cheap so I am pretty sure it would cost very little to bring him back. I would be betting on him coming back to New York where he enjoyed playing and pitching better. At the very least we know he will give us innings that we desperately need right now.
4) Yovani Gallardo-Mariners- I rank Gallardo 4th because the Mariners are not going to be ready to sell as quickly as the other players on this list teams and the Mets need help now. However if the Mariners do not turn it around Gallardo will be on the block and this guy has been a good pitcher his entire career. Career record of 110-86 with a career ERA of 3.81. A move back to the NL will certainly help Gallardo at this stage in his career also. Gallardo has a team option for 13 million next season which would be a reasonable number to consider if he pitches to his career national league norms. That option also gives us the ability to cut bait if he does not pitch well.
5) Doug Fister-Free Agent- Doug Fister is a guy who I never quite understood how he was good when he was but he got guys out anyway. Something about those tall right handed pitchers who do not throw hard boggles my mind for some reason. Fister is a free agent right now after going 12-13 for the Astros last season with a 4.64 ERA. The biggest pluses to Fister for a Team like the Mets is he will be a cheap contract, will not cost us any players, and can be had immediately. I say he is worth the flier just based off that even if we get one of the other guys on my list. Best case scenario is he pitches like Chris Young did for the Royals in 2015, worst case scenario is you lose a few million bucks and look for someone else.
Part 3 of this series will go over the bullpen which is also a disaster right now. All I know is the Mets better move quick because as I am writing this we are now 9 Games out of first place having lost 5 games in a row.