2) NY Mets challenge: Building a better rotation than last year
The Mets could have re-signed Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker and set themselves up with an awesome rotation. They would've rejoined the team along with Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco. The band completely sticking together and putting out some more great music for another year made sense. deGrom, as we already know, is bound for the Texas Rangers.
This is no longer an option. Based on the rumors and rumblings, it was never all that likely. It’s rare for a team in this age to stick with the same rotation from year-to-year, especially when it didn’t win them anything the season prior.
It seems Walker is the most likely to depart for another team next. In which case, the Mets can find a suitable replacement.
Here’s the challenge: choosing the right replacement for deGrom and possibly Walker while making the best offer possible to the starting pitchers you do want. And even when the offer is the best one out there, what can you offer to ensure the player puts pen to paper?
The Mets will have a steady rotation for next season. There’s little doubt about it. Will it be better? That’s where we need to question things. Scherzer will be another year older as will the less productive returning Carrasco. It will be a huge challenge to build the bullpen and rotation simultaneously and for us to think the team made every improvement possible.
Is this a challenge Billy Eppler will get a gold medal for or settle for a less desirable shade?