The New York Mets should pursue starting pitching prior to the deadline

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets are about to enter a crucial portion of their season. After spending five days without playing due to a small COVID-19 bout (a player and a coach got infected) the team is about to take the field today with a doubleheader against the Marlins.

MLB decided that the New York Mets would play three doubleheaders this week: the one against the Marlins today and two versus the New York Yankees on the weekend, as a way to make up for the games they lost last week. As a result, the team will have nine scheduled games in a span of six days.

More than ever, the Mets are going to need a lot from their pitchers. There is a possibility that both Michael Wacha and David Peterson return from shoulder inflammation, but it is not a given. The landscape is a little murky after ace Jacob deGrom. Only Rick Porcello and Steven Matz are healthy as far as true starters is concerned. The injuries and other casualties (Marcus Stroman decided to opt out of the season) have diminished the Mets’ depth in the starting pitching department.

In addition, Matz has been painfully bad in the early going, with a 9.00 ERA in five starts. That resulted in him getting booted from the rotation. The Mets’ pitching depth, once lauded when Stroman was around and Noah Syndergaard was healthy, has taken so many hits in the form of injuries and ineffectiveness that manager Luis Rojas has had to assign Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo back to starting roles.

The Mets should take advantage of their offensive firepower

What the Mets do have is a fantastic core of offensive players. Robinson Cano is back to raking, Dominic Smith has blossomed into an everyday player and an extrabases machine, JD Davis is still around, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto are having great seasons, and Pete Alonso can break out of his funk at any moment.

That’s why I think the Mets should pursue a trade for at least one starting pitcher. It’s true that the don’t have many chips available when it comes to prospects, but they would be smart to bring another hurler to take advantage of their wide-open contention window.

They have several interesting prospects for other teams, and even the young stars such as Francisco Alvarez, Andres Gimenez, Ronny Mauricio, and Matthew Allan should be available for the right player. They are not to be given away, but why not entertain the idea of bringing a top starter and using one or two of them as bait? If they want to hold on to their prospects, that’s fine and understandable, but there are young pieces in the major leagues that they could flip as they look for starting pitching.

Trevor Bauer could be available, Mike Clevinger, as well. The Angels are said to be listening on calls about the renewed Dylan Bundy. There could be some top arms in the market. If that’s the case, the New York Mets should at least entertain the idea of acquiring one and reinforcing a depleted rotation.

Adding a starter will also enable the Mets to return Lugo to the bullpen, where he has excelled.

After all, the Mets are just three games out of the first place in the National League East, and this year, more teams will qualify to the playoffs. Pairing deGrom with another good starter could go a long way in boosting the team’s chances of making noise in October.