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Mets continue to explore left-handed relief options, Jeurys Familia departs, and the Mets are now prepared for rainy days…
Jeurys Familia is heading to the Phillies on a one-year deal
What’s Up with the Mets? 💭
All players on the 40-man roster are required to report to spring training today. The back fields at Clover Park are now open to the public for fans to watch player workouts - gates open at the northern-most gate at 10:00 AM ET.
The Mets bolstered their rotation on Saturday night, acquiring RHP Chris Bassitt for prospects JT Ginn and Adam Oller (Story)
LHP Andrew Chafin remains a possibility for the Mets bullpen, as does LHP Brad Hand (Heyman)
Before procuring Bassitt, the Mets were showing interest in a trade with the Diamondbacks for RHP Luke Weaver (SNY)
Jeurys Familia has agreed to sign with the Phillies on a one-year, $6 million contract (FanSided)
The Mets are bringing back OF Johneshwy Vargas on a minor league deal (player announcement)
Former Met José Peraza has joined the Yankees as a non-roster invitee (Press Release)
Chris Bassitt’s arrival prepares the Mets for rainy days 📝
The Mets went to serious lengths on Saturday to bolster their rotation when they announced they had acquired RHP Chris Bassitt from the A’s.
The move doesn’t come without a significant cost in prospects, of course. They moved their fifth-best prospect (according to MLB.com) JT Ginn along with possible bullpen candidate Adam Oller in the process. With the trade, the Mets now only have one pitcher in their top five in Matt Allan, a high-ceiling arm but recovering from Tommy John Surgery and hasthrown ten professional innings in his life, none of which have come since the 2019 season.
The good news for the Mets here is they’re well positioned to replenish their front line pitching prospects this summer in the upcoming amateur (Rule 4) draft this summer. They will have two picks (11 and 14) among the first 20 overall (compensation for not signing their first-round pick in 2021), will have an early compensation pick thanks to the loss of Noah Syndergaard (he received and rejected a qualifying offer and signed with the Angels) and could receive another compensation pick if Michael Conforto signs elsewhere. All of their own compensation-eligible picks remain safe at the moment, as none of the free agents they’ve signed to-date this winter received a qualifying offer after the 2021 season.
So, what does Bassitt’s arrival mean for the rest of the rotation?
On the surface, he will immediately slot behind Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, and seemingly in front of Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco although not necessarily in that order. It also means Tylor Megill and David Peterson are slated either for the rotation in Triple-A Syracuse or the major league bullpen, depending on what the Mets do in free agency going forward. Assuming they’re headed to Triple-A, they would likely join Trevor Williams and Jordan Yamamoto in that capacity.
But nothing is ever as it seems on the surface, especially with starting pitchers.
With spring training starting later than usual, it can’t be assumed the Mets will be able to expect regular workloads from their front five early in the season. Opening Day is just under four weeks away, and spring games don’t start until Friday, offering even less competitive innings for the starting pitchers to get ready. Of course, there will be opportunities in B games and yes, assuming everyone is healthy they’ve all been a part of a ramp up program in the absence of a normal spring training over the last month. Even so, its safe to expect the Mets are going to be ultra conservative with this starting rotation early on - maybe they only ask for 80-85 pitches from each through the first turn in the rotation?
Also - there are three doubleheaders guaranteed to be on the schedule in 2022 because of the lockout and delayed start to the year, and that doesn’t include possible doubleheaders due to inclement weather, something the Mets were ill-equipped to handle in 2021.
But between this puzzles surrounding the health of deGrom and Carrasco and the mystery with Walker, who was two different pitchers in 2021, the Mets can only assume they’re going to need the likes of Megill, Peterson, Yamamoto and Williams to offset the loads for their front five, and potentially immediately depending on how the schedule shakes out.
Thanks to the acquisition of both Scherzer and Bassitt, they’re suddenly rich with viable, major league alternatives to their front five. They can feel comfortable using this depth to bridge the gap to their bullpen as their primary starting pitchers build their inning counts, and spot start them to provide additional rest and recovery and mitigate any performance issues they have along the way.
Of course, between injury and performance, nobody can predict what will happen in the rotation. But the Mets are now prepared for the rainy day, both literally and figuratively.
Hot Stove 🔥
The Rangers are trading INF Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a prospect to the Twins for C Mitch Garver (ESPN)
The Phillies are showing interest in acquiring INF Matt Chapman from the A’s (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The White Sox also signed INF Josh Harrison to a one-year deal (Athletic)