In Joel Sherman’s article yesterday, he covered the latest news surrounding the New York Mets and their pursuit of boosting the starting rotation. Buried a little deeper in the story is the idea that the team could sign someone and then trade Carlos Carrasco.
It seemed like a given that the Mets would hold onto Carrasco once they picked up his $14 million option for 2023. With some concerns about the payroll getting a little too nuts and Carrasco possibly able to outperform the dollars owed to him, it’s not so outrageous. It’s more unnecessary.
Why the Mets should explore trading Carlos Carrasco but only do so for the right haul
Sherman’s point is clear and obvious. Trading Carrasco reduces the payroll and allows the Mets to explore other options. Of course, it comes with the caveat that they do actually add another starting pitcher in free agency.
There is a downside to doing this. The Mets are essentially replacing Carrasco on the roster with someone like Kodai Senga or Ross Stripling. It guarantees a spot will go to Tylor Megill or David Peterson. The question we need to ask is whether or not the rotation is better with one of the other guy instead of Carrasco.
A better plan might be to add to what is already there and only send Carrasco elsewhere for the right haul. Trading Carrasco to a starting pitcher-needy team with a bullpen arm or two they can send the Mets’ way works. An outfielder wouldn’t be so bad either. There are a ton of possibilities and even more destinations for Carrasco to land if this suggestion were to become a reality.
Picking up Carrasco’s option in the first place was a move to ensure the team wouldn’t head into free agency with only Max Scherzer under contract. Now that they have added Justin Verlander and Jose Quintana, they are much closer to completing the starting five.
There doesn’t seem to be much traction or an actual rumor to suggest the Mets would actually flip Carrasco this offseason. It would be a surprising move for sure.
A personal preference would be for the Mets to continue to seek out other options and fill out the starting five with veterans. Have Peterson in a similar role as last season and maybe consider Tylor Megill for the bullpen if all else fails. It wouldn’t be terrible to have one of them as the fifth starter, though. Billy Eppler has said the team will look to get creative. Injuries and potential misses in other spots this offseason could always have them thinking different about Carrasco as we get closer to Opening Day 2023.