What the Mets should do with the pitching staff instead of trading a starter

Trading a starting pitcher should be off the table for the Mets and keeping them might provide them with a solution in the bullpen.
New York Mets v Washington Nationals
New York Mets v Washington Nationals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Luis Severino, Sean Manaea, and Jose Quintana are all in that group of veteran starting pitchers the New York Mets could conceivably trade to open up room for others to stick in the rotation. The recent return of Christian Scott, anticipated arrival of Kodai Senga, and the possibility of the Mets putting Jose Butto back into the rotation can help make up for the absence of any of those three.

Is it really smart to subtract such a useful asset? Although undefeated and carrying a 3.51 ERA, David Peterson hasn’t been dominant. Adrian Houser surely isn’t getting back into the rotation. Tylor Megill is far from rejoining the Mets as a starter, too.

Rather than sell anything at the trade deadline, the Mets should take a different approach with their starting pitching. As long as they’re buyers, they should keep every piece they can. Attempt to get the most out of everyone in any sort of role. Innings are innings. It doesn’t matter if certain pitchers are starting or entering in relief. The Mets cannot subtract. Best of all, tossing a starter or two into the bullpen can help resolve some of the ongoing bullpen issues.

Instead of trading a starting pitcher, the Mets should use their depth in the bullpen

Allowing Butto to pitch in relief was the first step to signal the Mets could be open to this. With the team carefully monitoring Scott’s innings, he seems like an obvious choice to move into relief at some point, too. It’s understandable why they wouldn’t want to push him too hard in his rookie year. Not using him at all would be a bigger mistake. He’s already here. Even as a reliever on an irregular basis is worth experimenting with.

The same could be said with Megill whose 5.08 ERA in 8 starts nixed him from the rotation for the foreseeable future. A logical step for Megill is to throw him in the bullpen where he can offer some length and maybe get back to what made him a talented young pitcher. He has by far the best strikeout numbers of any of the starters this season. He’s one starter whose stuff looks like it could translate the best in a relief role.

The idea of trading a starting pitcher for a reliever makes sense until we take a step back and realize the Mets have yet to exhaust all of their options. They should be on the prowl for bullpen help and even if guys like Megill or Scott did pitch well in relief, they shouldn’t stray from adding.

Finally, the Mets are getting more length from their starters. A necessary request in the absence of Edwin Diaz during his suspension, it helps put things into perspective for the pitching staff.

Severino, Manaea, and Quintana are all having seasons that best classify as average. Maybe a little better. Maybe slightly worse. In any case, the Mets need to collect pitchers and not get rid of them. In fact, if we really want to believe in this team, they should be adding someone.

We’ll gladly settle with the Mets loading up on pitchers instead. Still out of a Wild Card spot but not by much, this isn’t the time to get cute. Unless another team offers an insane return for one of the starting pitchers, stay focused on this season and use what you have.