Although there have been some rumblings recently that the Mets had finally realized it might be in their best interest to sign a free agent starting pitcher, Ken Rosenthal poured some cold water on that notion today, tweeting that the team hadn’t engaged Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn in a meaningful way and is more likely to target a “lesser” starting pitcher. He also points out the draft and international market costs associated with signing either pitcher.
That the Mets could use help in their starting rotation seems obvious. Despite entering the 2017 season with a boatload of talent in the rotation, Mets starters were a combination of hurt and ineffective. Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler—two of the top five starters on their ideal depth chart—have thus far been unable to pitch a full season’s worth of innings in the role, and Matt Harvey might regain his old form but struggled mightily in his limited time on the field last year.
If the Mets do want a starting pitcher but are unwilling to spend what it takes to require Lynn or Cobb, there are plenty of other options out there, some of whom we mentioned here recently. With a payroll that still hasn’t matched what the team spent going into the 2017 season, however, it would be a letdown to see the Mets settle for a lesser pitcher—especially if the best remaining pitchers on the market end up signing for much less than they typically would.