Kodai Senga throws a bullpen, Carlos Beltran's officially back, and Francisco Álvarez wows
Meanwhile, could Carlos Carrasco still be traded after all?
What’s Up with the Mets? 🌴
Kodai Senga threw 52 pitches in a bullpen session Thursday (MLB.com)
Francisco Lindor is excited to have Carlos Beltran on the Mets front office staff (Newsday)
Max Scherzer’s house is a circus after welcoming his fourth daughter this week (Newsday)
Francisco Alvarez put on a show in batting practice Thursday (FOX Sports)
Former Mets broadcaster and MLB Hall of Famer Tim McCarver passed away at the age of 81
Could Carlos Carrasco still become trade bait in 2023?✍🏻
Back in December, rumors about the Mets potentially trading right-hander Carlos Carrasco were rampant. At the time New York was still expecting to finalize their agreement with Carlos Correa and conceivably were open to shedding some payroll.
And sure, in theory the Mets have starting pitching depth. Behind projected opening day rotation members Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana and Carrasco, the team has David Peterson and Tylor Megill ready to capably slide into the starting five, and perhaps Joey Lucchesi as well. Both Peterson and Megill specifically have pitched extensively for this team over the past couple years and New York would justifiably feel confident should they need to again.
But as we discussed here at Just Mets two months ago, trading Carrasco just doesn’t make sense. Right now, anyway.
Scherzer missed several weeks on the injured list last season and both he and Verlander are among the oldest starting pitchers in the game. Senga was brilliant in Japan but we haven’t seen him do it here yet, and Quintana was splendid last season but had a 6.43 ERA in 2021.
There’s an argument to be made that in some ways, Carrasco is the safest bet of any of the Mets’ starting five.
The team can reasonably expect him to give them what he did a season ago. Consistently taking the ball every 5th day, going 5-6 innings, and pitching to around a 4.00 ERA. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that level of production from a fifth starter at his salary.
That being said, I’m certainly open to reevaluating my stance on this in a few months.
If the Mets get to July and Scherzer and Verlander have both been healthy and dominant, Senga has had no issue adjusting to Major League baseball, Quintana is pitching like the 2022 version of himself and both Peterson and Megill are throwing well in Triple-A or as spot starters, the idea of dealing from a position of strength wouldn’t seem outrageous.
It was reported by SNY earlier this week the Yankees inquired seriously about Carrasco earlier this winter and it’s a safe bet they weren’t alone. Under the direction of Steve Cohen, Billy Eppler, the Mets have rightfully been more conscious about holding on to their top tier prospects in an effort to bulk up their farm system.
It’s uncommon for contending teams to trade from their Major League roster at the trade deadline, but it’s at least possible the Mets will reach July with a real possibility to address potential weaknesses by trading from a position of strength rather than their minor league system.
And again, if that’s the case when we get there, I’d support it because it would represent the best case scenario for the Mets’ pitching staff. But for now, let’s reiterate our previous take on the situation and say this is not something to even consider in the next few months.
The question is, will other teams bite at that juncture of the season?
Around the League ⚾️
Former all-star switch-hitting catcher Victor Martinez joined the Blue Jays front office (MLB Network)
Corbin Burnes had pointed words for the Brewers after his arbitration case with the team (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
The Padres signed Cole Hamels to a minor league deal (Fansided)