Offseason New York Mets rumors have been in a frenzy since the team missed out on Trevor Bauer when he opted to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is because as a result of Bauer spurning Queens for Los Angeles, the Mets had to explore several contingency plans to fortify their starting rotation.
The latest round of Mets rumors has the team linked to two pitchers in particular, one coming off of a horrible season and the other coming off a brief but encouraging run with the Toronto Blue Jays. Those players are former Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi and former Blue Jays pitcher Taijuan Walker.
Mets rumors for a while have linked the Mets to both pitchers since the team was interested in exploring adding more starting rotation depth in the wake of Syndergaard set to miss around half of the 2021 season. However, their interest in them was not characterized as serious because of their pursuit of Trevor Bauer.
Now with Bauer signed and other alternative options such as James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and Jake Arrieta off the board, the Mets are once again expressing sincere interest in Odorizzi and Walker.
After being outbid by the Mariners for James Paxton, the Mets rumors are indicating that the team has renewed interest in Jake Odorizzi and Taijuan Walker.
Odorizzi, in particular, is an interesting bounceback candidate. In 2019, he posted a 3.51 ERA in 30 starts and has been fairly durable throughout his career to this point. However, in 2020, Odorizzi was plagued by injuries, which resulted in him only making four starts in 2020, and those results were not good. He concluded the year with a 6.59 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Since he only had four starts in 2020, it would be unfair to say that his small sample size is indicative of his value to a major league club. With a career ERA of 3.91, Odorizzi would represent a decent pickup for the Mets, who could use someone to eat up innings.
Walker, on the other hand, had a fairly good year in 2020, especially after he got traded to the Blue Jays. In six starts down the stretch, Walker finished with a 1.37 ERA. Unlike Odorizzi, Walker missed much of the 2018 and 2019 seasons because of Tommy John surgery and a shoulder injury. 2020 represented a bounceback year for him. Although he is no longer a top-of-the-rotation option, Walker would presumably (if signed) serve as the Mets fifth starter.
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The latest Mets rumors show that the team is still committed to bolstering a starting rotation that struggled throughout the 2020 season. With the players facing a normal 162-game season, the need for depth has never been more paramount. If the Mets rumors come true, the Mets will land another starting pitcher who should contribute meaningful innings in 2021.