Sandy Alderson says Mets have an excess of starting pitchers

By Danny Abriano

During a conference call on Tuesday, Mets general manager said the team may have to trade from their starting pitching surplus regardless of whether or not they acquire a shortstop.

Responding to a question about whether the Mets have the flexibility to add more players, Alderson brought up the starting pitching situation while saying that it’s “pretty easy to see” they have an “excess of starting pitching.”

Alderson has talked about the starting pitching depth in the past, but this is the first time he’s noted that trading some of that pitching may be a necessity.

At present, the Mets have Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon, and Dillon Gee as pitchers in need of a spot in the big league rotation.

Beyond the six pitchers above, there are Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard. A bit further down the line is Steven Matz, who will open with Triple-A Las Vegas, but who is expected to contribute at some point in 2015.

Leaving Matz out of the equation – and barring injury – the Mets will have eight starting pitchers for five spots come April.

Yes, injuries happen, but the Mets refusing to deal any of their starting pitching out of fear would be a poor way to operate. Apparently, Alderson agrees.

Since the Mets can guarantee an extra year of control over Noah Syndergaard by leaving him in Triple-A until late-April, figure that he won’t come up until then.

Still, the Mets will have seven starting pitchers for five spots before Syndergaard is called upon, and eight pitchers for five spots once Syndergaard is up.

In an ideal world, the Mets would use either Dillon Gee or Bartolo Colon as part of a deal to import a shortstop. However, potential trade partners will likely ask for one of the Mets’ younger pitchers in exchange.

With all of their assets, an excess of starting pitchers, and a hole to fill at shortstop, something has to give.