On Friday, we learned the New York Mets didn’t pull off an even bigger trade with the Chicago Cubs in July because of their concern over the health of Jacob deGrom. You know the guy. He’s the team’s ace that was scheduled to step on the mound every fifth or sixth day for the team this year—pending scheduled off-days.
As luck would have it, deGrom’s fortunes weren’t so favorable in 2021. The best pitcher in baseball may have thrown his last MLB pitch of the year already. His flashy numbers won’t be remembered for their amazingness as much as they will for how small of a sample they came from.
We all knew losing deGrom would hurt the Mets. I’m not sure anyone thought it would have directly influenced how the front office felt about the team’s chance to win it all.
This is what the Mets should have done if they were so concerned about Jacob deGrom
Here’s a thought: if you think deGrom isn’t healthy and maybe he’s out for the year, why not find a suitable replacement?
The Mets hardly attempted this at the trade deadline. Adding Rich Hill was a much-needed acquisition. I watched a video online the other day of a guy in the hospital with a shark still attached to his thigh, chomping down and all. This is where the Mets were back in July without deGrom and a cavalcade of pitchers taking the mound every fifth day to try and eat some innings.
Hill helped make the rotation a bit more credible. He was, as every person will agree, hardly a replacement for deGrom.
It’s easy to second-guess the Mets now and wonder why they made any trades at all if they weren’t willing to push all of the chips in. What I have difficulty accepting is that the loss of a single starting pitcher could sway your team in one direction or another.
deGrom is the lifeblood of the Mets. He speaks softly and carries a big stick. I wish that was a metaphor but it’s closer to truth.
Have you heard him talk during press conference? Have you seen him hit?
This mega-Mets trade with the Cubs wasn’t a must
While a poor excuse to not make a trade, the truth is, the Mets aren’t in a much better position if they did do the deal; whatever it would have been.
The Steve Cohen era of Mets baseball hasn’t been quite as Steinbrennerish as I think many of us expected. He’s not a ruthless owner. If you follow him on Twitter, he’s a little goofy.
More unexpected, he has patience up until recently. He didn’t lease the Mets for 2021. He bought the club because he’s hoping to attend several parades in his team’s honor.
The front office has been consistent about one thing: faith in the farm system. They’ve hyped up their best prospects regularly and have targeted younger players with some upside regularly for depth purposes.
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Still, when we consider it all, the Mets season shouldn’t depend at all on the health of a guy that will at most have an effect in 20% of the games. The team probably did need a healthy deGrom in order to win a championship this year. However, if they were willing, they could have found an arm to place in the rotation and feel a little bit better about what this club could accomplish.