Early Mets rumors say the team could trade starters while still trying to compete

The Mets could be looking to trade starting pitchers whiel still trying to compete.
New York Mets v Chicago Cubs
New York Mets v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

A week and a month away from the 2024 MLB trade deadline, we can consider it to be New York Mets rumors season. Mike Puma of the NY Post dropped one on Friday night. After a clobbering of the Chicago Cubs, he revealed a part of what the Mets could have cooking up.

Puma doesn’t name any particulars, but we can assume the threesome of Luis Severino, Sean Manaea, and Jose Quintana all fall there. Adrian Houser, at this point, has shown he can carry some value as a long man. While not completely out of the picture as a trade candidate if someone was willing to take him—using his roster spot for optional guys isn’t the worst thing—we’d expect Houser to fetch a much weaker return than those other three.

This trade deadline strategy is a bit unusual but not completely unfamiliar. The Mets did something similar in 2019 with a twist. They added Marcus Stroman and subtracted Jason Vargas. Puma doesn’t say the Mets would acquire any MLB starting pitchers which is certainly a bit disappointing.

Mets rumors involving the sale of starting pitchers only works if they add to the roster, too

Putting a lot of trust into pitchers like Kodai Senga, Christian Scott, and Jose Butto to be good enough for the Mets is a bit weak especially when they’ve held back on the latter two from getting big league experience. Both Scott and Butto pitched very well. However, the team has decided to focus on seeing what Tylor Megill and David Peterson have to offer. This pairing could also get dealt away, but with minor league options remaining, they should be a bit more cautious.

Trades involving Severino or Manaea could get the Mets back something decent. In Quintana’s case, despite pitching well lately, it’s more about clearing the roster spot. The trouble is finding a team that’ll actually think he’s an upgrade over what they already have. Quintana successfully went from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the St. Louis Cardinals and cranked it up to a whole new level post-trade deadline back in 2022. Without having to sacrifice much, someone could buy into him repeating this success.

If they’re serious about making these Mets rumors come true, the team needs to get a better look of what Scott and Butto can do at the major league level. A lot of off-days in these final days of June with two more coming up on Monday and again on Thursday don’t provide them with the excuse of a six-man rotation.  They trudge along with just five starters in what has been a very average year for many of them.

Are the Mets better with a rotation of younger and more unproven arms than any of the three veterans? They might be in the regular season. The problems arise when someone gets hurt or the bright lights of the playoffs give off some jitters.

A surplus of starting pitchers with average or better numbers is a good thing to have as the trade deadline approaches. Disappointingly, Puma’s Mets rumors drop doesn’t include the idea of them bringing in an external option. So what are the Mets going to add to make themselves better? The “it’s like adding someone at the trade deadline” proverb doesn’t make anyone feel good.