It is universally acknowledged that the New York Mets have a talented pitching roster. Their top three starters, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler combined to form an electric 1-2-3 trio that would make any opposing lineup tremble. After those three however, things start to go downhill. Quickly. Behind the power three, Steven Matz and Jason Vargas could easily switch in and out as the 4-5 in the rotation, which should be an issue to anyone who reads those names. The two lefties combined to form a 12-20 with a 9.74 ERA. With the display of the ugly numbers out of the way, it goes without saying that the Mets need to invest more into their rotation.
The NL East has become an arms race in terms of starting pitching, especially when it comes to the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals. Those two teams have each brought in an elite pitcher in the last off-seasons. Last off-season, it was the Phillies bringing in Jake Arrieta for three years and $25 million. This past December, the Nationals inked Patrick Corbin for $140 million over and extremely back-loaded six years. With both teams also gunning for the talents of Bryce Harper this offseason, the race to spend the most money before Spring Training features the Nationals and Phillies neck and neck. The Mets should not be shy to strap on their sneakers and get in the race, and make a run for Dallas Keuchel.
Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, is supposedly looking for a five year contract. This is asking a lot for a 31 year-old, especially with the way the market has trended for players on the wrong side of 30. It is not likely that Keuchel will get signed for that long, and that is something that the Mets should take advantage of. In signing the lefty, the Mets would receive a player who hardly ever misses a start, and has the ability to be an ace when needed. A signing of Keuchel would give the Mets an advantage in the battle for the best rotation in the NL East, and give the Mets one of the best top four starters in baseball.
The Mets have also invested in their rotation by spending money on the bullpen. By creating a strong bullpen, the Mets have essentially given the starters the ability to breathe. During the 2018 season, starters essentially could have no confidence that their bullpen cold hold a lead to end the game. The Mets bullpen single handedly created a reason for there to be a discussion of whether or not deGrom should have won the Cy Young last season, by costing deGrom that many wins.
With the Mets significantly under the luxury tax threshold, and supposedly not pursuing Harper or Manny Machado, there is no reason that they shouldn’t spend money to bolster their rotation. Whether it be Keuchel, or adding another dynamic bullpen arm, the Mets should make an investment in what could possibly be the best part of their team in 2019.