The other Brewers pitchers for the Mets to consider
This leaves the Mets with two options. Adrian Houser, 28, is coming off of a 10-6 season with a 3.22 ERA. About to embark on his age 29 season, he doesn’t have a long track record of success. Last season was only his second full campaign in the major leagues. As successful as he was, I’m not so sure he qualifies as a guy to heavily target.
There’s also Eric Lauer, the lone lefty in this five-some. A little younger at age 27 next year, he’s kind of like Joey Lucchesi in a lot of ways. Also traded away from the San Diego Padres, he’s a younger southpaw with some promise ahead of him for better days. The question then becomes something along the lines of: are either of these guys worth trading Davis, McNeil, or Smith?
The answer may actually be yes. It’s never easy to move on from a guy you once viewed as a starter—something we all felt at one point about those three. Realistically, other than McNeil, I can’t envision the Mets getting much in return for them. Would a team really give up a top-quality relief pitcher for Davis or Smith? Relievers are hard enough to find. Any contender with the hopes of going far would only onto those arms tightly.
It’s a little different with a starting pitcher. You can get innings from them. They’re a little easier to predict and work with. When this fails, you move them to the bullpen. When a reliever struggles, you bite your tongue and cut bait when you can.