The New York Mets don’t need to upgrade their whole roster just because someone has a minor injury. They should, however, have a clear understanding of how ready the team is or will be for the final two months of the season.
After August 2, the Mets will have fewer resources to improve themselves. This means taking the health of their current players into consideration and also their history of injury.
While it isn’t a must-add situation, Billy Eppler should have these three players on his mind when looking for major or even minor additions at the trade deadline.
1) NY Mets need to be sure Jacob deGrom is healthy
Perhaps the most important injury concern of all comes from the staff’s ace. Jacob deGrom has yet to pitch a major league game this season. That should, hopefully, change.
deGrom’s recent injury history should keep the Mets a little more on edge. Even if he is able to return, what’s to stop him from landing back on the IL? With this at the front of mind, they need to decide whether or not what they have outside of him is enough—just in case.
It’s a tricky situation. The Mets don’t want to trade for a starting pitcher then get into a situation where they run out of room on the roster. Stashing a starter in the bullpen isn’t a terrific solution. Given the fact that the playoffs only really require a four-man rotation, the Mets are already in pretty good shape.
One thing the Mets could consider doing is buying a little more depth. A starting pitcher with minor league options wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Tyler Mahle and Kyle Freeland are two that come to mind. Although not necessarily improvements over the guys they currently have, trading for either would be similar to last summer’s acquisition of Trevor Williams. The Mets were able to shuttle him down to Triple-A and only promote him when there was a need.
The Mets can be one of the best teams in baseball even without deGrom. A hypothetical playoff rotation of Max Scherzer, Taijuan Walker, Christ Bassitt, and Carlos Carrasco should work. Even Williams or David Peterson could step into the role.
Preferably, they don’t have to. deGrom comes back and stays healthy.