Earlier this week RHP Marcus Stroman accepted the Qualifying Offer from the New York Mets. This was a surprise to most Met fans. Stroman looked like he was going to reject the QO and sign a massive deal Free Agency. Now that Stroman is coming back to Flushing, the Mets now have another strong arm in the rotation. However the rotation still needs some assistance.
There are now three spots in the rotation that are already filled. Jacob deGrom is the clear cut ace. He is the best pitcher in baseball and a two-time Cy Young award winner. deGrom has been almost un-hittable these past three seasons and after signing a massive contract last season he has done everything but disappoint.
Marcus Stroman is likely to be second in the rotation. Noah Syndergaard would have been in this spot but since had Tommy John surgery in March it doesn’t look like he will be ready to go at the start of the season. But Stroman is not a bad replacement. The Mets acquired him at the 2019 trade deadline in a blockbuster trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. Stroman was an All-Star that year. But once he got to Flushing he struggled, he had an ERA of 3.77 in 11 starts. Stroman did not play this past season after he opted out of the season due to covid concerns. Stroman is an All-Star caliber pitcher as well as a Gold Glover. While he was out this past season, the Mets infield did improve which is surely going to help Stroman get some outs.
David Peterson is also going to get a spot in the rotation. Whether that is 3rd, 4th or 5th is yet to be determined. But Peterson showed a lot of potential in his rookie campaign. He posted an ERA of 3.44 while also going 6-2. He averaged to pitch over 5.0 innings per start last season and him being able to do that helped the Mets struggling bullpen. Peterson was the Mets best pitcher other than Jacob deGrom last season and he is a lock to get a spot in the rotation next year.
After those three guys there are no more guarantees for the rotation. The Mets have Steven Matz as well as Seth Lugo but both of them struggled as starters last year. Matz had his worst season in the majors posting an ERA of 9.68. He let up 42 hits in less than 31 innings pitched. He was eventually moved to the bullpen and looked a little bit better. But the Mets need starters and Matz might be an option.
Seth Lugo on the other hand moved from the bullpen to the rotation. However he too struggled when he started. He had an ERA of 5.15 while starting 7 games. Prior to this past season Lugo was the go to guy in the bullpen. He was the guy they would rely on whenever they possibly could. But the Mets decided to put in the rotation and once that happened the bullpen collapsed. Although Lugo may be an option for the rotation next year, but the Mets should put him back in the pen.
Internally the Mets also have Franklyn Kilome and Robert Gsellman who both will look to compete for a spot in the rotation.
The Mets can also look to improve the rotation through free agency. The reigning NL Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer is available and it looks like the Mets are interested in him. The Mets can also take a look at Jake Odorizzi who was an All-Star in 2019 or even World Series champion Charlie Morton who is coming off a great postseason with the Rays. Morton is an experienced pitcher who has won a championship and still looks like a dominant pitcher at the age of 37. If the Mets were to sign any of these three guys they would definitely be immediately put in the rotation and would give the Mets another reliable arm.
Additionally, Noah Syndergaard is expected back in June and once he returns the Mets will be much better equipped for a run. He is an ace type pitcher and former all star who is going to surely benefit the Mets rotation.
The re-signing of Marcus Stroman was a step in the right direction for the Mets. However the Mets still need more rotation depth in order to compete for a championship.
Image: Gene J. Puskar / AP