Back on March 2, reports surfaced that the New York Yankees, watching their starting pitching depth go down piece by piece, showed interest in New York Mets‘ lefty Steven Matz. After all, back then, the Queens squad had six qualified starters and five available slots in the rotation. They could listen. But they chose not to.
The Mets’ front office decided against the idea of trading Matz knowing that if they did it, the depth they had put together would vanish. Despite rumors saying that the Yankees were willing to part with prized young slugger Miguel Andujar, Matz ended up staying. And it was the right call.
Time and fate proved the Mets right. On Tuesday, the New York Mets announced that Noah Syndergaard has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, an injury that requires Tommy John surgery. The procedure will be performed on Thursday, and will knock Thor out for 2020 and the start of the 2021 campaign.
If the Mets would have traded Matz, they would now have a rotation of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, with unproven youngsters and other veterans vying for the fifth spot.
The Mets have five capable starters, but is that enough?
Losing Thor hurts a lot no matter what, but the Mets now have, at least, five starters with MLB experience and obvious talent.
Now, will they have enough firepower in their rotation to fend off the Washington Nationals, the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East? Before Thor’s injury, the New York Mets looked like a legit contender in the division, capable of knocking the World Champs and the up-and-coming Braves from the postseason. Now, the path just got a little murky. They just lost a 4.4 fWAR player, and 2019 wasn’t even his best season.
Only time will tell what will happen with the Mets this season. We don’t even know if there will be a season, to begin with. But the team made the right decision when they chose to keep Steven Matz.