Mets showing they are prepared to spend on top starting pitchers

Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets
Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Recent New York Mets rumors are showing that they are willing to spend on starting pitching this offseason. In the last 24 hours, they have been linked to Marcus Stroman, Kevin Gausman, and Steven Matz.

Since Noah Syndergaard signed with the Angels, if the season started today, their rotation would be Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, Tylor Megill, and David Peterson. That just doesn’t cut it for a team that’s trying to contend.

At least according to the latest Mets rumors, the team is willing to spend to upgrade the starting rotation

Andy Martino tweeted that the pitching market is heating up and that the Mets intend to sign two or three starters. He notes that they were willing to pay Steven Matz over $40 million and that Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman are on their list.

We know what Stroman is capable of and we know that he not only handles New York well, but thrives here. I think he should be priority #1 because of that, but also because he is the type of pitcher that ages well. He relies on movement and command to get outs, and those are skills that last, unlike velocity. He is one of the most highly sought-after arms available this offseason because of that.

Gausman is an intriguing option, but not necessarily a safe one. His overall numbers were very good in 2021, with a 2.81 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 227 strikeouts in 192 innings pitched. He had one of the best first halves in recent memory, posting a 1.73 ERA and .82 WHIP in 114.2 innings while striking out 133 batters, good for a K/9 of 10.4. Unfortunately, he really dropped off in the second half, seeing his ERA second-half ERA and WHIP balloon to 4.42 and 1.37, respectively. The strikeouts were still there, but he gave up more hits (86) than innings pitched (77.1), indicating that his command and/or movement dropped off.  Gausman was not given a qualifying offer, so he will not cost a draft pick should the Mets sign him.

I personally think the Mets dodged a bullet on Matz. He struggled here before, and while I understand the hometown ties, I don’t think he’s worth the long term deal. However, it does offer some insight into the Mets willingness to spend this offseason, and that’s a promising sign.

We should see some free agent action in the next week or so before a potential lockout. It sounds like the starting pitching market is hot and several dominos could fall before then. It’s great that the Mets are showing that they are inclined to spend money, so expect them to be heavily involved.

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