The Mets have depth problem and that’s okay

3D logoAt each position this year, the Mets have at least two or three guys that could start that position on Opening Day. This Spring Training has proved that having that kind of depth is a good problem. Injuries are something that happen to every team and they need to be prepared to handle that kind of problem. Lucas Duda did not swing the bat for a few days because of an oblique problem and if this was during the season then Michael Cuddyer or even John Mayberry Jr. who has started 75 games at first base in career, could start in place of Duda. Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup for a few days and the Mets have Ruben Tejada or they can slide Wilmer Flores over or call up Dilson Herrera. If an outfielder goes down Kirk Nieuwenhuis steps up from fourth outfielder as he has been pretty hot this spring. The Mets biggest depth “problem” is their pitching staff, especially in the rotation.

Before even getting to any prospects, the Mets have six pitchers who could all be in the rotation on Opening Day. Then on top of them are Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz who will all be playing in Triple-A at the start of the season and will be ready very soon. Alderson is going to need to make decisions quickly about rotation. The most likely candidate for trade is Dillon Gee and most of the talks have been around him. The Rangers were interested at one point, but do not seem that way anymore. If the Mets held onto Gee, Jon Niese, and Bartolo Colon that would not be a bad thing. Each of the Mets pitchers have something that could easily call for having a sixth starting pitcher stashed in your bullpen. Colon is getting older, and even though he has been a hard worker and does not strain himself a lot, he will turn 42 at the end of May. Some have had some concerns about Jon Niese’s health and having that pitcher who can easily fill in is a good thing to have. The three young pitchers are not perfect pictures either. Matt Harvey is coming back from Tommy John surgery, Zack Wheeler had problems going deep into games, and Jacob deGrom needs to avoid a sophomore slump and has only started 22 games in the majors.

Gee is someone who the Mets can rely on to spot start for any five of these guys while the Mets prospects continue to develop in Vegas. Carlos Torres can be the guy to spot start if needed, but he is best used as the bullpen work horse. It is not ideal to have some one that goes out there pretty much every day, and his stats show it, but of Torres’ 72 relief appearances, 42 of them came on no days rest or one day of rest. Unless Montero is brought up the rest of the Mets bullpen are not pitchers who are going to spot start. Jenrry Mejia can, but as of right now he is going to be the Mets closer. Gee provides nice depth until the other pitchers are ready to come up and by then someone may trade for Niese or Colon freeing up a rotation spot and allowing the Mets to slide one of the prospects in. Gee is making around five million this season and Niese around seven million, so neither of them are breaking the Mets bank and the Mets are not going to go out and pick up a twenty million dollar contract. Plus they need to save that money because within the next few years the Mets are going to need to pay Wheeler, Harvey, deGrom, Juan Lagares, Travis d’Arnaud and Herrera if they want to keep them all.

Ultimately, the Mets should not feel rushed to trade away any of the six starting pitchers they have so far. They are better off waiting until one of the prospects forces their way into the major league in case at some point someone goes down. Unless the Mets are going to get a starting shortstop, which for Gee or Niese or Colon is unlikely to happen, and the player(s) that they would receive are probably not going to be immediate help in the majors. Alderson can bide his time make the deal he wants to make when he wants to make it.

10 comments for “The Mets have depth problem and that’s okay

  1. James Newman
    March 9, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    If Colon, Gee and Niese are putting up decent numbers by midseason, I think there will be teams involved in the mix, especially if the Texas Rangers are competing. The Mets should see how the market is, and also realize that payroll is only going to increase as these young players develop. With Colon and probably Murphy’s contracts coming off the books, there will be a little more payroll flexibility, but down the road, all these young guns are going to be costly.

  2. Matt Netter
    March 9, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    The smart play for a GM dealing from a position of depth is to take an open-minded approach to the trade market and not zero in on the one or two guys he’d most like to trade away.

    • Tyler Slape
      March 9, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      The Mets are not going to trade Wheeler, Harvey, or deGrom unless they are blown away with a trade. Odds are they will not trade Syndergaard or Matz. So Sandy will look to trade any of Gee, Niese, Colon, and maybe Montero. It is more important to identify which players are going to benefit the team the most and trade the excess.

  3. Name
    March 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Short-sighted thinking.

    What creates more value for the Mets – A starting shortstop or a 6th starter?

    • Tyler Slape
      March 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Starting shortstop, but I do not think the Mets would be able to get a starting shortstop for Gee. The team that has been most linked to Gee was the Rangers and the talks were for a former top prospect who will be having season ending surgery and missed all of last season.

    • Metsense
      March 10, 2015 at 7:02 am

      The Mets have starting pitching depth. The Mets don’t have a gold glove caliber 30 year old shortstop with a career 299/373/517/890 capable of 25 HR and 100 RBI to bat cleanup. The Mets would be a better team with Tulo and a rotation of Harvey, deGrom, Colon, Niese and Gee with Montero and Matz as AAA depth.

      • TexasGusCC
        March 10, 2015 at 10:05 am

        Totally agree with you. They would have been a better team for a year or two, but after that, it would have been a nightmare because Tulo will be missing games (while we talk about how much his bat has slowed down like we are about Wright) and the pitchers you traded away are only getting better while not in their prime and the young SS coming up are all blocked.

        Are you good with that?

        • Metsense
          March 11, 2015 at 6:55 am

          Yes I am good with that. Time does not stand still. All players age and slow down, while other young players develop and blossom. I think two years is an accelerated timeline though and there are more years than that in Tulo’s tank. Two years from now there will be other young Met pitchers to choose from trying to crack the rotation. If there is a shortstop two or three years from now that can push Tulo out then trade Tulo. It is the name on the front of the jersey that matters not the one on the back. Sandy has built a strong minor league foundation and now he needs to build a championship caliber castle on top of it.

          • TexasGusCC
            March 11, 2015 at 6:32 pm

            Metsense, I can accept your rationale but feel two young pitchers of this caliber for Tulowitzsky is too much. If he was a few years younger and less injury prone, then it’s more plausible.

  4. TexasGusCC
    March 10, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Depth is great, but why is the depth That impressive? The Mets are so mediocre in their starting lineup in some positions that the depth is just as good. So, while some are impressed with a bench of MDD, Kirk, and Tejada (personally hope they cut him), the problem is that the players in front of them may not be any better.

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