The Mets entered this off-season with plenty of needs, but one of the more glaring ones is starting pitching.
The blue and orange entered the offseason with only two rotation spots filled by Kodai Senga and José Quintana, respectively.
The top target for the blue and orange was Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but after a long negotiation and multiple meetings, the 25-year-old signed with the Dodgers on a 12-year deal worth $325 million.
With Yamamoto now unavailable, the Mets will have to look elsewhere to find quality starting pitching, and they could pivot to making another blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Guardians.
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The Mets could acquire Shane Bieber
One of the more intriguing options for the Mets would be to trade for Shane Bieber.
The 28-year-old native dealt with an elbow issue in 2023 but was serviceable when available for the Guardians. Bieber pitched 128 innings across 21 starts to a 3.80 ERA with a 1.234 WHIP and struck out 107.
The California native was much more impressive when he was fully healthy in 2022. The former Triple Crown winner pitched 200 innings across 31 starts to a 2.88 ERA with a 1.040 WHIP and struck out 198.
Should the Mets trade for Bieber?
Bieber is undoubtedly an intriguing option for the blue and orange; however, there are some concerns with the Mets acquiring the former Cy-Young winner.
The 28-year-old is under team control for one more season, so he is not guaranteed to stay in Queens after the 2024 season. If the Mets were to trade for him, they would have to secure an extension, which, with the current market, could cost well over 100 million.
In addition, Bieber is coming off a season where he struggled and had an elbow issue, which is alarming for a pitcher rapidly approaching the wrong side of 30.
There is no doubt that Bieber is an excellent pitcher, but his health concerns, combined with no commitment to the team past 2024 alongside the massive prospect haul it would require for the Mets to acquire him, makes the 28-year-old a risky acquisition for Steve Cohen and company.