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Mets talking to Rick Porcello

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The veteran would be an underwhelming signing, to say the least.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets are talking to free agent pitcher Rick Porcello, according to Jon Heyman, who notes that Matt Cerrone reported interest between the two parties last week. The soon-to-be 31-year-old is coming off an awful season in Boston in which he finished the year with a 5.52 ERA in 32 starts.

Just one of Porcello’s five seasons between 2015 and 2019 was particularly good, and that lone season came back in 2016 when he won the American League Cy Young. The Mets would undoubtedly higlight the fact that Porcello is a former winner of the award if they were to sign him, fully basking in the irony of sitting out the free agent sweepstakes for Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, both of whom are far better pitchers despite not having won that award themselves.

If the Mets end up signing Porcello, who we mentioned in our series exploring the Mets’ options in the starting pitching market, they can cross “fifth starter” off their winter shopping list, a remarkably low goal in a winter that could still allow them to sign a better pitcher and bump some of their current rotation down a notch. It would be much easier to see the Mets as contenders with Steven Matz, who had a 4.21 ERA in 2019 and a 3.97 ERA in 2018, penciled in to the fifth slot in their rotation on Opening Day next year—and someone better than Porcello occupying the second, third, or fourth slot.