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Mets: Making sense of the Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha signings

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 25: Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 25, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 25: Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 25, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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How will the newest additions to the New York Mets, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, fit in with the team’s plans in 2020?

After a frustratingly quiet start to the offseason, the New York Mets have started making moves. The team has recently bolstered their pitching staff through the acquisition of former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and the signing of Michael Wacha. While these two players certainly have exciting potential, many fans and analysts are confused as to how they will fit within the roster.

The Questions

The moment Zack Wheeler signed with the rival Philadelphia Phillies, the Mets acquired a need for a starting pitcher to take his place in the rotation. That need seemed to be filled when the news broke that Wacha had joined the team.

However, the Porcello signing then created a great deal of confusion and frustration. Why sign another starter when you already have five? Why not spend those resources addressing a bullpen that ranked 28th in the league last season?

The worst of these fears deals with the current rotation and backbone of the team. Do the Wacha and Porcello signings mean the team could consider trading Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, or Steven Matz?

What exactly was discussed when the Mets and Astros reportedly had “dialogue” about Carlos Correa? For many fans, parting with any member of the current rotation seems like a nightmare scenario.

The Solution

Despite these legitimate concerns, there is an easy pathway for the Mets to use these two new players to vastly improve their team in 2020: use one player as the fifth starter and the other out of the bullpen! The fact that Porcello has a better pedigree and received a $10 million contract likely means that he will have the first opportunity to join the rotation. Wacha, whose deal is for $3 million (plus incentives) seems like the prime candidate to fill a role as a spot-starter and long reliever.

This blueprint would give the Mets one of the best #5 starters in baseball, while also adding a player with a career 3.91 ERA to bolster a struggling bullpen. While Wacha has spent the majority of his career as a starter, it certainly isn’t a stretch to think that he could seamlessly transition into a different role.

This plan would also mean that Seth Lugo could remain in the bullpen despite reports that he could be converted into a starter.

The Conclusion

While these additions do create a path for management to drastically shake up the Mets core, they also represent a chance to support the roster with valuable depth.

As we wait for GM Brodie Van Wagenen and skipper Carlos Beltran to explain the plan, it’s worth keeping in mind that these moves make the team better entering the 2020 season.

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While the Mets still have a lot of ground to cover to catch back up with the rest of the hyper-aggressive NL East, adding two proven arms to their pitching staff should be considered a positive until the team gives us concrete reasons to think otherwise.

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