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NY Mets offseason grades for the major winter transactions

Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Mar 17, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi (47) delivers a pitch during a spring training game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi (47) delivers a pitch during a spring training game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Mets acquire Joey Lucchesi and Jordan Yamamoto

One of the big issues the Mets have had over the last couple of years has been their pitching depth. They would go into the season with a solid rotation but have nobody good enough to step up if someone got hurt. The Mets have had guys like Ariel Jurado, Walker Lockett, Corey Oswalt, and Chris Mazza in recent memory try and be members of the rotation just to name a few. Imagine replacing those guys with Joey Lucchesi and Jordan Yamamoto. That’s much better.

In January, the Mets traded catcher prospect Endy Rodriguez in a three-team trade which landed them Joey Lucchesi. This was the Joe Musgrove trade. The 27-year-old Lucchesi gives the Mets a left-handed option for the rotation or the bullpen with four years left of team control and minor league options as well. He is a huge step up from the guys we are used to seeing on the shuttle from Syracuse.

Lucchesi is likely battling with fellow southpaw David Peterson for the fifth starter spot, and I assume whoever does not win that spot will get the last spot in the bullpen. Lucchesi struggled in his limited appearances in 2020 as he only made two starts and pitched a total of 5.2 innings. In 2018 and 2019 he made 26 and 30 starts respectively and had an ERA just over 4.00 both seasons. For a fifth starter or bullpen piece, that’s pretty good. Much better than what the Mets have turned to in the past for depth.

The other depth starter the Mets acquired was Jordan Yamamoto from the Marlins. They traded minor league shortstop Federico Polanco to get Yamamoto after he was Designated for Assignment.

Yamamoto made his debut with Miami in 2019 and showed flashes of being a good starting pitcher in this league. He went 4-5 with a 4.44 ERA in his 78.2 innings pitched, with a 9.4 K/9. Yamamoto’s big issue was his control, as he walked 4.1 batters per nine innings. This past season like Lucchesi, he didn’t really have a place on the team and struggled when he did pitch.

While on the surface Lucchesi and Yamamoto won’t wow you, they’re not meant to be aces. For depth pieces, they are great additions. Lucchesi will probably begin the season in the bullpen while Yamamoto will likely be in AAA. Depth is very important in a 162-game season and I’m sure both will make an impact on the 2021 Mets.

Grade: A

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