The New York Mets were a lot more optimistic two-plus weeks ago when they exited the trade deadline with the moves they made. Adding Rich Hill well in advance of July 30 and swinging their deal for Javier Baez and Trevor Williams near the end of the frenzy, they appeared to feel confident that ace Jacob deGrom would return in a few weeks.
Then there was a setback. An ugly word for all injured folks. deGrom won’t begin throwing again until late August. By that point, his status for the 2021 season is anyone’s guess.
The Mets are running out of time to get their number one starter back on the field. We should expect deGrom to need at least a few rehab games before stepping back on a big league mound. Playing Monday morning general manager, it has become abundantly clear that the addition of Hill was not nearly enough.
Captain hindsight would like to point out that the Mets needed to do more at the trade deadline
I understand the two moves the Mets did make at the deadline. Hill gave them an immediate rotation addition to help stop the hemorrhaging. Carlos Carrasco debuted not long after, giving them another veteran to turn to for help.
This didn’t solve the starting pitching issues for them. Taijuan Walker was already showing signs of collapsing—possibly because of the immense load he has taken on this year. We also knew from the beginning that Carrasco would have to come along slowly. The Mets are not pushing him to go deep into games just yet.
Rather than go for broke and get a fully capable arm onto the roster ready to roll, the Mets settled with only Hill and Williams. Williams went to Triple-A before getting his Mets debut in a doubleheader against the Washington Nationals. Hill has been shaky for the Mets, not delivering the knockout punch they needed to be added to the rotation.
Where else could the Mets have turned?
A couple of true aces did swap uniforms at the deadline. Jose Berrios went to the Toronto Blue Jays from the Minnesota Twins. Max Scherzer changed coasts when he was traded from the Washington Nationals to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Aside from those studs, the Mets could have snagged Jon Gray from the Colorado Rockies or paid the price to acquire Kyle Gibson from the Texas Rangers. Gray ended up staying put and Gibson went to the rival Philadelphia Phillies.
There’s no guarantee that either of those two would perform better than Hill. Given the recent news that deGrom won’t be back in a timely fashion, it’s easy to question the club’s intentions. All they really gave up at the trade deadline was 2020 first-round pick Pete Crow-Armstrong. Hill was cheap and the Baez/Williams combo didn’t ruin the farm system.
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I hardly blame the Mets for not doing more at the trade deadline. But the early returns on the deals they did make should have us questioning if they were able to do enough.