The injury bug has bitten the New York Mets once again. Jacob deGrom was diagnosed with a stress reaction on his right scapula. He is shut down from throwing for four weeks, which I assume given ramp-up time once he can start throwing will have him out at the very least until late-May or early-June. Assuming no setbacks.
In addition to the deGrom injury, Max Scherzer has hamstring tightness. He is expected to start the Mets' second game of the season so hopefully, that happens and his hamstring feels fine. And lastly, Taijuan Walker has had knee soreness on his knee that was just surgically repaired this past offseason which caused his velocity to dip and he was rocked by the Nationals in his last Spring Training start. He is expected to make his first regular-season start in Philadelphia, hopefully, that happens.
With the Mets depth options running low, they should target another starting pitcher. My target would be Luke Weaver from the Diamondbacks.
The Mets are more prepared depth-wise than they have been in the past with guys like David Peterson and Tylor Megill expected to be luxuries rather than in the Opening Day rotation. However, due to the injuries it's likely that at least one of those young arms will be in the Mets rotation for a while, if not both.
After Megill and Peterson, the depth runs low. Thomas Szapucki was the Opening Day starter in Syracuse and I don't think he's quite ready for big league action. Someone like Jordan Yamamoto who was just designated for assignment is another option, but I think the Mets should really do better.
Luke Weaver was at one time a very promising prospect. He was picked 27th overall by the Cardinals in the 2014 MLB Draft and was a key piece of the trade that brought Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis. Things haven't gone super well at the MLB level for the 28 year old, but maybe a new situation would help him out.
The Mets reportedly showed interest in the right-hander earlier this offseason. He was just moved to the bullpen by Arizona which means to me at least that they've lost a lot of faith in him. Weaver is likely available and would not cost much at all to acquire.
Weaver has a career 4.64 ERA in 89 appearances (80 starts) with the Diamondbacks. His best season came in 2019 when he posted a 2.94 ERA and a 3.07 FIP in 12 starts. That season, in addition to other Weaver seasons, was cut short due to injury.
Weaver has good stuff, proven by his 9.2 career K/9. He's gotten a tad unlucky in his career as his 4.06 FIP is far better than his ERA. I don't think he'd be an ace or anything but Weaver would fit in the same class as someone like Megill and Peterson, and those arms are not available in the free agent market right now.
The Mets need as much depth as possible with their track record when it comes with injuries and the fact that all five starters in their projected Opening Day rotation dealt with some sort of injury issue last season. Weaver still has another year of team control, he's still fairly young, and can provide the Mets with much needed depth at a very cheap acquisition cost. It's a no-brainer.