NY Mets biggest trade deadline need could be starting pitching
By Tim Boyle
For a change, the biggest need for the New York Mets at this year’s trade deadline could be starting pitching.
It’s far too early to really know what we have with the New York Mets starting rotation. However, with some shakiness from Rick Porcello, summer injury to Marcus Stroman right before the regular season began, and the complete absence of Noah Syndergaard, there is reason to think the biggest trade deadline need this team could have is on the mound.
Specifically, the Mets may need to go on the hunt for a starting pitcher before the August 31 trade deadline.
The trade deadline is weeks away and by the time it rolls around there’s no telling what the status of the league will look like let alone where the Mets will be in the standings. Games have already been postponed due to illness which has me tentative in believing anything is a sure bet.
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This won’t prevent me from rushing to any thoughts about what the future holds for this ball club. Late July is typically the time when we talk trades at Rising Apple. This year, we’re talking about opening weeks with some minor preparation for what should be one of the strangest trade deadlines in recent years.
Nevertheless, the trade deadline hustle will arrive in some form a month from now. With it comes a question about what the Mets need most.
Starting pitching has been a strength of theirs in many of their best recent seasons. In 2015 and 2016, their buying focused on bats and some bullpen arms.
While the offense has had its weak moments early on and there’s no such thing as too many excellent relievers in your bullpen, it’s the starting pitching that may need the most help. This will depend on two things: performance and health.
In the performance category, the only thing we can put any trust in is a man named Jacob deGrom. Even a hiccup here or there will not dethrone him from our hearts as this club’s ace. Beyond him, we have to question just about everything good or bad that happens.
Steven Matz and Michael Wacha have not looked fantastic in 2020. Rookie David Peterson has been their second-best pitcher. This has left them with only one trusted starter in the rotation, good o’le deGrom.
Fortunately, if Stroman is able to recover and pitch well in his return, there may be other areas the Mets can attack other than the starting rotation.
This team began the preseason with six starters competing for five spots. The number dropped down to five with guys like Peterson on the outside waiting to get their opportunity. He made the most of his first and did more than enough to earn more starts in the future as needed.
Maybe more than ever, this year’s playoffs will be one by the team that gets the hottest. The playoffs have expanded and an organization with four stellar starting pitchers could wreak havoc on every opponent they face.
For a change, the Mets may not have the luxury they did in 2015 with one of the top starting rotations in baseball. As satisfied with some of the early results as I am, there isn’t a healthy arm on this roster I can assure you can beat anyone—aside from deGrom.
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I’m already eager to see what happens at this year’s trade deadline. It won’t be a power bat like Yoenis Cespedes or Jay Bruce the Mets go out looking for. Instead, the biggest swing they make could be to add to their rotation even just for a rental.