2) Jose Quintana
The Mets were fixated on bringing Yoshinobu Yamamoto to Queens because the team desperately needed to add another frontline starter to pair with Kodai Senga. With Yamamoto a Dodger and there being virtually no chance the team brings Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery aboard, Senga is going to have to lead the way without much help.
Mets fans trust Senga to shoulder the load, but the rotation after him leaves a whole lot to be desired. There's a very good chance Jose Quintana will have to step up and be the team's second starter. That's not what he signed on for, but with little reason to believe another high-end starter is coming, Quintana is going to have to step up in a big way.
Now, if he pitched the way he did when healthy in 2023, the Mets will be fine. Quintana, with his late-season starts against the Phillies as the lone exceptions, pitched wonderfully for the Mets down the stretch. They virtually never scored for him, but he was able to go toe-to-toe with whoever he was matched up against and keep the Mets in games.
Instead of him being the team's fourth or fifth starter which was the expectation last season, Quintana is going to have to pitch well consistently for the Mets to be competitive thanks to the rest of the rotation being subpar. Mets fans can only hope that the 34-year-old is up for the challenge.