New York Mets acquire yet another starting pitcher in three-team trade

The New York Mets acquired yet another piece with the 2021 season in mind. In a three-team trade with the San Diego Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Mets acquired left-handed starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Right-hander Joe Musgrove was sent packing to San Diego, while the Bucs are getting four prospects from the Padres and one from the Mets.

To bring the lefty starter to the Mets, the team gave up outfield prospect Endy Rodriguez, who was ranked 14th in the club by

Lucchesi is a 27-year-old hurler that was a fixture in the Padres rotation in 2018 and 2019. However, he was a victim of San Diego’s depth and spent most of the 2020 campaign in the alternate training site. In 5 2/3 frames, he had a 7.94 ERA.

When at his best, the Mets are getting a capable back-of-the-rotation starter that relies more on deception than on raw stuff to get outs. In 299.1 career innings with the Padres, the southpaw has a 4.21 ERA, a 4.21 FIP and a 3.98 FIP with a solid 9.26 K/9. Those numbers are actually comparable with those of Steven Matz.

The Mets rotation is getting deeper

Speaking of Matz, Lucchesi’s arrival means that he won’t be guaranteed a rotation spot. The top four are set with Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, and David Peterson. Matz and Lucchesi will presumably fight for the fifth spot until Noah Syndergaard comes back from his Tommy John surgery rehab.

The move also means that the Mets are definitely using Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman out of the bullpen in 2021l.

Overall, it wasn’t an overly flashy addition by the New York Mets, but not every one needs to be. Lucchesi will bring some much-needed pitching depth to Queens, and it’s a solid insurance policy in case Matz or Peterson don’t perform as planned.