Mets starting rotation prediction with Yoshinobu Yamamoto and without him

Predicting the two outcomes for the Mets starting rotation.
Republic of Korea v Japan - Baseball - Olympics: Day 12
Republic of Korea v Japan - Baseball - Olympics: Day 12 / Koji Watanabe/GettyImages

There are only two outcomes New York Mets fans care about with Yoshinobu Yamamoto. He either signs with the Mets or he doesn’t.

Signing with the Mets will give them the rotation boost at the top they need while altering how the rest of the starting rotation shapes up.

What will a rotation with and without Yamamoto look like for the Mets?

Mets starting rotation with Yoshinobu Yamamoto

In a particular order:

1. Yoshinobu Yamamoto
2. Kodai Senga
3. Jose Quintana
4. Luis Severino
5. Winner of Tylor Megill vs. Joey Lucchesi vs. Eric Lauer

Yamamoto signing with the Mets will probably mean the other open spot in the rotation ends up going to a lesser arm. The Mets, already carrying several pitchers fitting this description, could turn to a spring competition.

Rather than simply predict a Tylor Megill vs. Joey Lucchesi battle (with David Peterson involved once healthy), I’ve added in Eric Lauer. A former starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, the connection to the Mets is easy to make. Lauer would have to come to the Mets on a minor league deal. Due to his lack of minor league options, it wouldn’t make sense to sign him and put him in a roster competition whilst on a major league contract.

This rotation isn’t bad if the winner of the fifth starter spot performs well. You may even prefer it over the alternative starting five if Yamamoto goes somewhere else.

Mets starting rotation without Yoshinobu Yamamoto

In no particular order:

1.Kodai Senga
2. Shota Imanaga
3. Jose Quintana
4. Luis Severino
5. Lucas Giolito

The Mets have money to spend, a will to win, and a fanbase that’ll be sorely disappointed if Yamamoto doesn’t end up calling Queens home. The plus side is that if Yamamoto ends up with another team the Mets should be more likely to add two arms from outside of the organization.

Shota Imanaga hasn’t gotten much attention this offseason in comparison to Yamamoto. The 30-year-old is a few rungs below Yamamoto. Excellent control throughout his career in Japan, we wouldn’t run into the same problems we did with Senga issuing all of those free passes. The lefty would be good compensation for the Mets as a multi-year addition to their rotation.

The Mets also add Lucas Giolito on a two-year pact with an option for 2025. Giolito has been a brilliant eater of innings in his career. His lousy 2023 campaign shouldn’t have the Mets stray completely away.

Going after Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell are the two power moves for the team to make. It’s not what I’d predict ends up happening. Hopefully, we never find out.