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Pivotal offseason begins for pitching-needy Mets
Craig Counsell close to a decision and rumors galore as the offseason begins. Plus, how pitching remains the Mets biggest need this winter.
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
Craig Counsell’s decision on where he will be signing is expected soon (Heyman)
Dansby Swanson beat out Francisco Lindor for the Gold Glove at shortstop in the National League
The Athletics granted Mark Kotsay permission to interview with the Mets but he is no longer in the running for the managerial position (Rosenthal)
According to Bob Nightengale, executives believe the Mets will sign Japanese star RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Rumor Mill 💭
With the GM Meetings starting all eyes will be on Shohei Ohtani and where he will be signing
The Braves are reportedly declining Eddie Rosario’s option
Buck Showalter is one of the finalists for Angels manger
Pitching remains the most pressing need this offseason ✍️
Quite alot of things went horribly wrong for the Mets in 2023 but one of the most glaring was their pitching. Their 10.4 fWAR put them only ahead of Colorado and Washington for third worst in the league, and their team ERA of 4.30 was good for 19th in baseball.
When broken down their starters had a 9.9 fWAR and an ERA of 4.20 while their relievers were dead last in the league in fWAR with 0.5 and sporting an ERA of 4.45. Some of the stats need to be taken with a grain of salt since the organization traded away 40 percent of the rotation at the trade deadline, but the eye test will tell you it was ugly from the start. The starters were not going deep into games from the start of the season which snowballed into Buck Showalter having to continuously turn to his bullpen. A bullpen that was already missing its elite closer as Edwin Díaz missed the entire season with a knee injury.
With the offseason officially upon us, the Mets will need to prioritize their biggest needs and there is none bigger than their pitching. As it stands now they have only two bonafide starters in Kodai Senga and José Quintana on the roster for 2024. Signing Japanese star right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto would be a phenomenal starting point but this is a team that is going to need to acquire at least two starters. Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, and Eduardo Rodríguez are all options in free agency and they could always try to swing a trade, as well. They received a haul of prospects at the trade deadline and could now use that to target starting pitching. Perhaps they could take advantage of the Padres financial woes and pry away one of their starters like Joe Musgrove.
The bullpen will get an immediate boost with the return of Edwin Díaz and shoring up the starting rotation should also alleviate some of issues with relief corps. They already picked up the option on Brooks Raley, as well, but they will need a few more arms to avoid a repeat of last season.
With David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and Joey Lucchesi all vying for a spot in the rotation, perhaps one of them could become the long man out of the pen.
Shohei Ohtani should be pursued regardless of their needs and could slot into their rotation in the future after he is fully healed from Tommy John. When the best player on the planet becomes available the Mets can not let the opportunity pass them by now that Steve Cohen is their owner. Juan Soto may also become a legitimate option when it comes to position players, but we’ll get to him later this week on the site…
Once David Stearns rounds out his front office the organization can start moving forward and put 2023 far, far in the rearview mirror. If all else fails they can’t do much worse in the pitching department than they did this past year, right?
Hot Stove 🔥
The Reds declined Joey Votto’s option, making him say goodbye to Cincinnati after 17 years with the organization
Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez opted out of the final three years of his contract making him a free agent
The Giants are planning on picking up the $10 million option on starter Alex Cobb
The Marlins are declining their option on Johnny Cueto
Marcus Stroman is a free agent after opting out of his contract with the Cubs
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is also a free agent after the team declined their club option