One of the very first, and slightly unexpected, moves the Mets made was to acquire LHP Rich Hill. Grade: B-
This trade makes a lot of sense for the Mets. For one, Tampa Bay just acquired DH Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins, which adds a little more than $5 million to the Rays’ payroll.
In an analysis of the Cruz trade, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal mentioned that Tampa Bay’s pitching depth could help them offload some of that salary, specifically highlighting both the Mets’ and Dodgers’ needs.
"The Rays being the Rays, it would not be a shock if they took further advantage of their pitching depth to trim a bit of salary. And in a market starved for starting pitching, it probably would behoove them to explore what teams such as the Dodgers and Mets might offer for left-hander Rich Hill, 41."
Rich Hill fills an immediate need for some starting pitching. With Jacob deGrom spending some time on the Injured List, Carlos Carrasco needing an additional rehab start in the minors (and being unavailable all season), Noah Syndergaard still rebounding from Tommy John’s surgery, and even David Peterson dealing with a finger issue, pitching is a definite and immediate need for the Mets.
It seems that the Mets could be in the exact opposite situation at the end of the season. Carrasco and deGrom are likely to be back for sure with recent news that David Peterson will need to undergo foot surgery.
The addition of rookie RHP Tylor Megill has been an absolute godsend for a team in dire need of pitching, let alone a 2.10 ERA in his first six MLB starts. Marcus Stroman has offered several ace-like outings, along with Taijuan Walker who appeared in this year’s All-Star Game, despite him struggling recently.
What the Mets gave up to get Hill isn’t bad either. Tommy Hunter has been solid, but he’s 35 and they have solid relief where he would fill in. Matt Dyer was the fourth round pick in the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft, but was hitting .180 with St. Lucie in Low-A this year.