Among the decisions that will need to be made for the New York Mets front office next season will be how to revamp the starting rotation and the bullpen. But before Sandy Alderson and crew decide who to bring in, they need to first decide who to bring back and how many holes will be left to fill.
Here’s a breakdown of which Mets’ pitchers should return, and which could see their status in limbo:
LOCKS TO BE ON NEXT YEAR’S TEAM
This is a pretty clear cut group here. The Mets won’t turn over their entire starting rotation, and while anything is possible, the Mets figure to hope the one-two punch of Syndergaard and deGrom can anchor an improved staff. While Matz has been up-and-down this year, he’s still young, talented, and perhaps most importantly, a lefty. If he’s healthy, it would be a real shock to not see him on the opening day roster.
As for the bullpen, the Mets will hope Familia and Ramos can shorten games, although there’s still a good chance they’ll add another power arm back there given Familia’s injury history and Ramos’ shakiness. Meanwhile, the Mets seemingly made it clear that they view Blevins as a part of next year’s roster when they didn’t trade him in July. Finally, Sewald has probably shown enough this season to factor into next year’s plans given his youth and consistency.
ON THE BUBBLE
There’s probably not a scenario where Harvey, Lugo, Wheeler and Gsellman are all off the team in 2018, but each find themselves on shaky ground. Injured and entering the last year of his deal, Harvey could be dealt if there are any takers. Lugo’s health would seem to jeopardize his 2018 status. The same could be said for Wheeler, although he probably is most likely to be a part of the team’s plans. Gsellman might have wrote his ticket out of town by ticking off Alderson.
In the pen, Goeddel is a maybe because he’s actually pitched pretty well in his Mets tenure, but the front office has never been high on him. Robles and Smoker seem to have endless supply of second chances. Each bring enough potential to the table to be in the mix for a 2018 bullpen spot.
WON’T BE AROUND
If the Mets do their job this offseason, there isn’t really a fit for either of these arms on the roster. Flexen would probably be better starting in Triple-A, and Montero — who knows? One would think he’s done nothing to be considered a piece for next year, but that’s been said before.
What we’ve got here is seven locks, and as mentioned earlier, it’s likely that at least one of those four bubble starters is in the 2018 team. So that’s eight spots filled. The team opened 2017 with 12 pitchers on the opening day roster.
They’ll need one more starting pitcher and acquiring a veteran innings eater seems likely. That leaves three bullpen arms to fill, one of which will almost certainly be a lefty and another will be some one that can give them some length. The final bullpen spot could and probably should be another power arm at the back of the pen.
It might look something like this:
SP – Syndergaard, deGrom, Matz, Wheeler/Harvey, Free Agent/Trade
RP – Familia, Ramos, FA/Trade, Blevins, Sewald, Smoker/FA, Lugo/Gsellman
All in all, the Mets probably need to spend money or trade for a starter and another power bullpen arm, while they could potentially fill the long reliever and lefty reliever spots from within. With some health and some smart acquisitions, pitching can again be a strength.