The Mets were informed Sunday night that Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani would not be taking his talents to Flushing, Queens.
Ohtani potentially would have filled more needs than one, being able to pitch and play outfield. However, while the team could still pursue the latter, they likely won’t be adding on to their pitching staff.
Instead, the team will rely on several other factors to improve the quality of the incumbent members of the pitching staff according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com:
- The Mets have spent much of their recent time conducting interviews to fill out their training staff. The organization’s overhaul includes the hiring of a high-performance director and a new head trainer — both of whom, the team hopes, will help keep its fragile pitching staff intact.
- New manager Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland boast track records of improving some of the game’s best arms. Under the stewardship of those two, the Mets hope bounce-back candidates such as Matt Harvey will not only stay healthy, but thrive.
- Heading into next season, the Mets plan to limit most of their starters — Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom excluded — to two turns through an opposing batting order each time out. In doing so, the Mets hope to limit some of the more damaging rallies against them in the middle and late innings.
- The Mets plan to bolster their bullpen with at least one, and possibly two, established late-inning arms. Having more legitimate options there will place less strain on the rotation.
While this plan is not a sure-fire way to reverse the fortunes of the staff, the team will likely shift their attention to bolstering their bullpen and solidifying their infield to help complement the starting rotation in case they struggle.
Assistant general manager John Ricco did say, however, that if a starter could be had for the right price, then the team might bend and make an exception.
“I still think if that guy is available at the right price, you could see us going in that direction,” he said.
But for right now, it looks as though it was Ohtani or bust in regards to bringing an external arm.