HomeTrending MLB NewsMets' decision to deal aces looks smart

Mets’ decision to deal aces looks smart

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The New York Mets no longer have a certified ace, but that may be a good thing.

Over the past two seasons, the Mets have sported elite co-aces at the top of their rotation. In 2022, Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer played an integral role in New York’s 101-win season. Then, in 2023, Justin Verlander and Scherzer headlined the pitching staff for several months before being dealt at the trade deadline to the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, respectively.

Entering the 2024 season, the Mets don’t have a surefire Cy Young Award winner or future Hall of Fame pitcher on their roster as they have in the past. 

It doesn’t seem like they’d want one, either. That’s because those 35-or-over star pitchers whom the Mets dealt are dealing with injuries before the 2024 season.

Scherzer and deGrom, who are respectively recovering from back surgery and Tommy John surgery, will not be available to pitch until June and August, according to Rangers GM Chris Young

Verlander, meanwhile, will start the season on the IL as he deals with right shoulder inflammation.

The Mets are not without their own injury issues, however. Kodai Senga — who’s coming off a strong first year in MLB after finishing second in NL Rookie of the Year voting — is expected to lead the rotation, but he will begin the season on the IL with a shoulder strain.

Pitchers Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell — who are both 31 — remain unsigned and would immediately bolster the Mets rotation, but New York is doing right by passing on them. 

Due to myriad reasons — namely age and price — Mets owner Steve Cohen and president of baseball operations David Stearns have not shown much interest in signing these two aces. 

Instead, New York is leaving the door open for pitching prospects Christian Scott and Mike Vasil to earn a starting spot this season.

The influx of young talent on the Mets stretches past the rotation as well. In return for Scherzer and Verlander, New York got a collection of promising prospects that it hopes will make an impact as early as this season. 

Outfielder Drew Gilbert, OF/INF Luisangel Acuna and 1B/OF Ryan Clifford are New York’s No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 top prospects, respectively. They also rank within MLB.com’s list of top 100 prospects.

On the heels of an abysmal 75-87 season, the Mets seemed to have learned their lesson when it comes to signing veteran pitchers to exorbitant contracts. 

Though New York might not be a contender in 2024, its nucleus of exciting prospects raises hope for the future.

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