Thoughts on the convoluted Dillon Gee situation

By Danny Abriano

Opening Day is in 28 days and Dillon Gee – a pitcher most assumed would be traded by December – is still on the Mets.

It’s impossible to say with 100 percent certainty whether the Mets wanted to deal Gee or another starting pitcher in order to lessen their starting pitching logjam, but Sandy Alderson’s words and actions earlier this offseason give that assumption credence.

The thought here is that Sandy Alderson misread the market for Dillon Gee, leaving the Mets with their aforementioned glut of starting pitchers and a potential issue in the bullpen when Bobby Parnell returns.

On Sunday, Joel Sherman wrote in the New York Post that Yu Darvish‘s injury should give the Mets pause when it comes to potentially trading Dillon Gee. That makes very little sense, since at present, the Mets have 12 starting pitchers who are either major league ready or will be major league ready at some point during the first half of the season. The pitchers:

Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Cory Mazzoni, Matthew Bowman, Carlos Torres (emergency starter).

In his column, Sherman referred to Gee as a “luxury item” for the Mets – one they should hang onto to guard against injury.

Well, if the Mets suffered an injury in the rotation, they could immediately turn to Montero or even Mazzoni or Bowman (who isn’t yet on the 40-man roster) if they so choose. Syndergaard, who will be up sooner rather than later, will be called up as soon as late-April, when the Mets secure an extra year of team control. Matz should be ready by this summer.

For the Mets, Dillon Gee is not a “luxury item,” he’s a mediocre pitcher they wanted to trade who is still here.

The Mets’ starting pitching depth and the presence of long-man Carlos Torres means Gee serves no particular purpose. And Gee being here could create issues in the bullpen.

Glossing over the fact that Gee doesn’t want to be a reliever and may not even be successful in the role is that his inclusion in the bullpen will likely result in the Mets having to make a tough decision when Bobby Parnell returns (in late-April or early-May).

At present, the Mets’ Opening Day bullpen will likely consist of Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Vic Black, Josh Edgin, Carlos Torres, Dillon Gee, and a second lefty (likely Rule 5 draftee Sean Gilmartin).

With Parnell expected to return a little over three weeks into the season, the Mets will be forced to drop a reliever in order to fit him in.

The choice at that point will likely come down to dropping Gilmartin (who they would then lose) or another second lefty, Black (who has minor league options), or Gee (who also has options).

The smart move, if everyone is pitching well, would be to drop Gee at that point. However, it’s not clear if the Mets would actually do that.

Keeping Gee in the above scenario would actually weaken the team, which brings us back to the original point. The Mets are better off without Dillon Gee, and they should try to deal him sooner rather than later.

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