On Saturday, it was revealed that the Mets were “in” on Martin Perez as a potential rotation option before he inked a deal with the Minnesota Twins.
While the Mets’ rotation is more or less set, there is always room for depth, which the Mets have relatively none in regards to the starting pitching category.
They have signed Hector Santiago as a potential piece that can be used in a pinch, but beyond that, they could still use an arm or two.
Here are five bargain options the Mets could consider as rotation depth.
Earlier in the month, it was reported by Ken Rosenthal that the Mets were keeping an eye on Tomlin, who a couple weeks later, remains a free agent.
The 34-year-old isn’t a flashy names by any means, and is coming off a year where he pitched to a rough 6.14 ERA in 32 games (nine started), but through his career, has been a serviceable pitcher.
At this point in his career, he could give the Mets a guy who can slot into the rotation occasionally to eat innings if need be.
The longtime Indian, Tomlin has a rapport with Mets’ manager Mickey Callaway, which could make him a fit in New York.
If New York can snag him on a minor league deal, which is likely, he’s another guy that they’ll have in the shuffle during spring training.
It feels as though Francisco Liriano has been kicking around forever, and he kind of has.
The 13-year veteran has had stints with several teams in his big league career, most recently with the Detroit Tigers in 2018, where he went 5-12 with a a 4.58 ERA, 5.11 FIP, 1.496 WHIP and 7.4 K/9.
Liriano has been a mostly serviceable back-end of the rotation guy throughout his career, with spurts of above average stuff here and there.
Now 35-years-old, Liriano would be an interesting guy to try and get on a minor league deal. At the worst, he doesn’t pan out, and at best, he might give you better stuff than someone like Jason Vargas as the Mets’ No. 5 guy.
Drew Pomeranz is an interesting player.
When he was in the wings, it seemed as though he had breakout potential, but that never came to fruition. However, he did have good back-to-back seasons in 2016-17, but last year was an overall disaster.
In 26 games (11 started), Pomeranz logged a 2-6 record, 6.08 ERA, 5.43 FIP, 1.770 WHIP and 8.0 K/9 with the Boston Red Sox.
Still only 30-years-old, it’s at least worth taking a flyer on Pomeranz, who also would give the Mets another lefty option in the bullpen. And if he can give you what he did in ’16 or ’17, he could even be a valuable No. 5 rotation guy.
Gonzalez, like Tomlin, is another guy New York has been linked to this winter.
The former National and Met killer, Gonzalez concluded last year with the Milwaukee Brewers, after six and a half years in Washington.
His numbers between two teams last year had him with a 10-11 record, 4.21 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 1.444 WHIP and 7.8 K/9.
The now 33-year-old has been a solid rotation piece for most of his career, and a durable one at that. Since 2010, Gonzalez has started less than 30 games just once, when he started 27 in 2014.
Signing Gonzalez would actually likely mean bouncing Vargas out of the rotation, but would probably prove to be the better option.
Earlier, I mentioned that Francisco Liriano has been a bit of a journeyman through his career. Edwin Jackson puts that to shame.
In 2018, Jackson pitched with the Oakland Athletics, His 13th MLB team in his 16 year career.
Now 35-years-old, Jackson had a solid 2018 season. In 17 starts with Oakland, the right-hander pitched to a 3.33 ERA, 4.65 FIP and had 6.7 K/9.
Those numbers are mostly in line with his career numbers, which would be fine as rotation depth for New York.
If he’s willing to suit up for his 14th MLB squad, which I’m sure he has no problem with, he could be an option for the Mets.
At this point in the winter, you’d normally expect the pickings to be slim, but there are still some appealing names on the market.
In addition to the names mentioned above, some other possible rotation options for New York include Jeremy Hellickson, Brett Anderson, Marco Estrada, Yovani Gallardo, Miguel Gonzalez and Jason Hammel among others.