Mets rotation still needs to be bolstered after Max Scherzer deal

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There is no doubt that the New York Mets recent acquisition of three time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer now puts them in contention to be one of the favorite teams to win the National League pennant going into next season. Having a one-two punch at the top of the rotation consisting of two of the top five pitchers in all of baseball will certainly give any team a chance to win a World Series once they get to the postseason. But after the flurry of moves the Amazins just pulled off in a 72 hour span with the lock-out looming, do they really have enough to even get through the 162 game regular season in order to make it to the postseason?

I would argue that the Mets biggest Achilles heel in 2021 was their lack of offense. The additions of Mark Canha, Starling Marte and Eduardo Escobar will probably go a long way to alleviating that issue. Also you would have to figure that their prized acquisition at shortstop in Francisco Lindor rebounds to his true form as well.

But what about their starting pitching?

There is no doubt that last season, it was the Mets pitching that kept them in contention for most of the year. They were able to fight off a litany of injuries and offensive cold streaks at the plate simply because their starting pitching was one of the best in the National league in ERA and quality starts made. They relied heavily on guys like Marcus Stroman, Tylor Megill, Taijuan Walker and Rich Hill to keep them in first place in the National League east for two thirds of the regular season. It is interesting to note that the moment those guys started to struggle for short periods of time, the roof fell in on this team's chances of winning.

Well that can't happen this time around if getting to the October classic is New York's goal.

Going into the start of 2022, the Mets will still be without Carlos Carrasco, who is still suffering from elbow issues and figure to be without Rich Hill, who is a free agent. Their young prospect David Peterson may also turn out to be a disappointment as he struggled to both pitch well and stay relevant in the rotation last season. Veteran Marcus Stroman took to social media to voice his displeasure of not being immediately approached with a contract offer from the Mets front office. It looks as if he will be moving on from a reunion with New York. Ace Jacob deGrom also struggled with mysterious ailments to his forearm, right shoulder and lat muscles which caused him to miss the whole second half of last year. As of today, no one still knows what the proper treatment to cure deGrom was or is, which may cause the Mets ace to possibly miss even more time in 2022.

With all these problems on the horizon, maintaining a quality starting rotation top to bottom as well as having adequate depth from their back up players is an issue the Mets still need to be aware of, even after signing Scherzer. Also don't forget, all star caliber pitchers like Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom can only be used on average once every 5 games. So despite their tremendous talent and impact on the game, they are still limited as to how many wins they can get for us in the regular season. Looking for a few other alternatives to solidify the starting rotation for good and make sure their off season spending efforts don't totally go for naught is going to be the best measure for the Mets to take.

With the current payroll just north of $285 million in 2022 after the Scherzer deal (including the luxury tax penalty), the Mets may decide to cool it with the spending to acquire more rotation depth. If that is the case, they can always rely on the extra amount of every day players they have on their roster to use as trade bait to acquire the likes of a Luis Castillo from the Reds or a Frankie Montas from the Oakland Athletics. Either of those pitchers would more than likely fill the void left by a Marcus Stroman departure and wouldn't cost the team any more in payroll. In return, the likes of minor leaguers such as Mark Vientos and Thomas Szapucki could be offered in return along with some combination of a David Peterson, Jeff McNeil or a Dom Smith.

If no feasible deal can be swung, there are always fall back names that can help solidify our rotation. Guys such as Yusei Kikuchi or Carlos Rodon are still out there and can be had for decent offers. A veteran such as Drew Smyly would be another name the Mets could look into bringing aboard on a short term deal for about $10 million a year.

Regardless of which avenue the Mets decide to go after their blockbuster acquisition, the fact remains that they have to keep looking for more starting rotation depth. To throw all that money at one player who can only go out there and help you for 20% of your regular season and not sure up the other 80% would be foolish. So while it's great that we took a huge step forward in bringing in a Hall of Fame talent this week, let's not forget that baseball is a team game and in the end, it's the team as whole that gets you through a marathon regular season.

Next. NY Mets dream starting lineup for the 2022 season. dark