Historically, this time of year has been labeled the trading deadline, but for Mets fans, this week may be the trade lifeline.
Remember when Jacob deGrom was the best pitcher in baseball? But that was — what? — three weeks ago?
Come on. deGrom is so yesterday. It’s all Tylor Megill now. Right?
I mean, really, look at the numbers. In six starts, he is 1-0 with an ERA hovering just over two (2.10 to be exact). He hasn’t given up a run since July 10.
OK. OK. The jig is up. Please, don’t get hysterical. The comment is meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
But, seriously, recent events — injuries to deGrom, Taijuan Walker‘s two post-All Star Game performances, Carlos Carrasco’s potential, David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi’s season-ending injuries and 41-year old Rich Hill’s impact — raises a lot of questions about the New York Mets starting pitching.
Just three weeks ago, the Mets starting rotation was the foundation their success. deGrom was nearly unhittable. Marcus Stroman is a great No. 2 and was pitching like an ace. Walker was a pleasant surprise, chewing up innings and limiting opponents to about two runs per start. Then, well, baseball happened.
deGrom began battling modest aches and pains that has led to an extend period on the injured reserved list. Noah Syndergaard started rehab in late May, had a setback and is back on the IL. Carrasco is expected to return this week, but what can we expect? Sean Reid Foley is out with shoulder issues. Robert Gsellman is out indefinitely. Dellin Betances, Peterson and Lucchesi have an assortment of arm issues that have put them all on the shelf for the remainder of the season.
Still, the Mets are four games in front in the National League East.
That’s the good news.
So, what happens next? The trading deadline is this Friday. What, if anything, will the Mets do to bolster their pitching?
Quality starting pitching is not cheap. Quality starting pitching with postseason experience and success requires an entirely different level of investment. Even if the Mets find a trading partner, what will be the cost? There are financial and talent resources to be considered. The cost and consideration of a “rental” player.
Again, good news. How? The Mets are buyers, not sellers. This is an exciting time to watch and see where the chips fall over the next few days.