The Mets starting pitcher ERA is one of the worst in the Major Leagues after 20 plus games played into the regular season. Could the addition of Gio Gonzalez have an immediate impact?
The Mets have a starting pitcher team ERA of 5.69 and have allowed opponents to rack up a .273 batting average against them (second worst in Major League baseball only to the Baltimore Orioles). To make matters worse, their best pitcher and staff ace Jacob deGrom might miss significant time on the IL with an elbow injury to his throwing arm.
Despite all this turmoil and lack of effectiveness from their starters, some positive relief news may be on the horizon. As of April 22nd, 2019, former Milwaukee Brewer and Washington National south paw Gio Gonzalez looks to be available on the open market again. If you recall during the offseason, Gonzalez was available as a potential free agent candidate that the Mets could have picked up to bolster the bottom half of their starting rotation.
But despite much clamoring by the fans on Gonzalez’s behalf, Brodie Van Wagenen decided to stay put with the starting rotation he already had in place and avoided signing the veteran lefty. Gonzalez is a two-time National League All-Star who has averaged roughly 175 innings pitched over the last four seasons.
In his 16 career starts at Citifield, Gonzalez is 11-1 with a career ERA of 1.78 in Flushing since 2009. Despite these eye-popping numbers, Van Wagenen passed on the Florida native and Gonzalez ended up signing a minor league deal with the Yankees back in mid-March.
But now things have dramatically changed.
This is because part of Gonzalez’s minor league deal with the Yankees stated that if he was not called up by the Major League team roster by April 20th of 2019, he would have an option triggered that allowed him to leave the Yankees and sign with another Major League ball club within 48 hours. Gonzalez will be slated to make $3 million if the Yankees bring him up to their Major League club plus additional money for any starts he can make.
With the Yankees getting solid contributions from a now healthy CC Sabathia and minor league prospect Domingo German, the 11-year veteran Gonzalez looks to be an after thought. But one team’s trash is another team’s treasure.
With the Mets so desperate for solid pitching rotation depth and quality starts early this year, signing Gio Gonzalez is a move that the Mets must now consider making if given the opportunity.
Gonzalez has a career WAR of 27.6 and was averaging almost 8 strike outs per nine innings last season. In his past three seasons, Gonzalez has posted a 112 ERA+ and a strike out to walk ratio of 2.35.
If their ace Jacob deGrom ends up missing an extended period of time, Gonzalez can come in and more than admirably fill the void for the Mets at a rather cost effective price.
As of April 19, 2019 it has been reported that Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen went up to Buffalo to scout Gio Gonzalez during his triple -A start against the Buffalo Bisons.
Earlier on this same particular day, it was reported that Gio Gonzalez had fired his former agent Scott Boras and signed on with the sports agency Brodie van Wagenen used to work for, CAA. On April 20th, 2019 Gio Gonzalez officially exercised his option to leave the Yankees organization should they not make him part of their Major League roster in the next 48 hours.
All this looks like it is leading to the inevitable and there is a very real chance that we will see Gio Gonzalez sporting a blue and orange uniform at the Major League level soon. If this is the case, kudos on the part of Brodie Van Wagenen for finally realizing that lack of quality depth in this Mets rotation is a major flaw can lead to our team’s demise.
A healthy and rested Gio Gonzalez could be just what the doctor ordered to help get this team over the lack of defensive output we are getting from our starters and fielders. We may be able to look back later on the season and see this acquisition as the turning point that propels us to a much-needed return to the post season.