The New York Mets‘ struggles with their starting rotation are well-documented. Behind Jacob deGrom, the landscape is not particularly promising for the 2021 season as things stand right now. The good thing is that there will, almost surely, be a new owner in Steve Cohen, and with him, there will be renewed dreams of greatness and competitiveness.
As of right now, deGrom is the unquestioned ace, and David Peterson will be in the rotation, too. The rookie impressed in the condensed 2020 season and showed he has what it takes to get big league hitters out.
Noah Syndergaard will presumably take the second spot in the New York Mets’ rotation once he is ready to return from Tommy John surgery. Since he went under the knife in March, and the expected recovery time is between 14-16 months, he should be back out there by around June or July.
Steven Matz is also under contract, so he could take a spot if he shows in spring training that he is over the shoulder issues that plagued him in 2020. But Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, which were rotation members to start the season, are now gone. The Mets need to replace them.
What will the Mets do with their rotation?
While Trevor Bauer is in the market, signing him sure won’t be easy for the New York Mets (for everyone, to be fair.) The team could direct its efforts to secure two veteran arms that could make a difference if healthy: Charlie Morton and Corey Kluber.
The Tampa Bay Rays declined to pick up Morton’s 2021 option, making him a free agent. The Texas Rangers are expected to the same with Kluber, per T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. And while both clubs have the desire of bringing each of their pitchers back at lower salaries, once they enter the open market, there are no guarantees.
Morton, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, “is believed to want to continue his career, so he’s now among the better free agent starters out there. Preferred last time to be on the East Coast.” That’s music to the Mets’ ears. The guy is fresh off pitching 20.0 innings of a 2.70 ERA in the postseason with the Rays. Although his regular season ERA was a tad high (4.74) he did have a 3.45 FIP and had a 3.05 regular season ERA in 2019. The guy, when healthy, is flat-out dominant, even at 36 years old.
Kluber has a 3.16 ERA in 1342.2 career frames. He is coming off a tore Teres muscle, but should be fully healthy by spring training. The Mets could really benefit from having him around.
Will Cohen, team president Sandy Alderson and the Mets consider them to their 2021 starting rotation? They should.