This has to be temporary.
This must be happening so the Mets don’t devalue any of their spare pitchers on the trade market.
It’s the only reason why the club would be talking long term when it comes to their new six-man rotation.
When Dillon Gee come back from his injury as soon as this weekend, the Mets will be sporting six starting pitchers instead of the usual five. The company line says the organization is trying to save the arms of Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom and Noah Syndergaard, while keeping 42 year-old Bartolo Colon fresh in the rotation.
And they say they are planning on keeping it that way until August.
“It is better for the players, better for the organization,” pitching coach Warthen said. “At least until we feel like we have plenty of innings left in September and still have the possibility of innings left in October.”
This sounds good on paper, but there’s another motive for the Mets here. Gee is an asset that can be traded as is Jon Niese, especially with Steven Matz posting an ERA under two in Las Vegas. By demoting Gee to the bullpen, the Mets would be devaluing their pitcher on the trade market.
Now, by embracing the six man rotation, the Mets could eventually use Gee or Niese in a trade for a veteran infielder, especially if David Wright is out for the long term. Gee in the rotation is far more valuable than Gee as a long man.
Also, based on their past track record, there’s a chance one or two of the starting staff will miss time due to some injury, so it’s better to go easy for now when you have the extra assets.
“Our no. 1 concern is our pitchers and our pitchers staying healthy,” Warthen said. “We have some other ones – Matz is coming along. We’re going to have Syndergaard here, deGrom here, Harvey here. Those are the guys that are the big concerns. The other guys, they have to go along with it. It’s going to only help prolong their careers. From the organization’s standpoint, from my standpoint, I think it’s a smart thing to do.”
Sure, smart for now, but this is not a long term solution. The Mets know that. Warthen admitted the staff was tough to convince, but they are going along with the plan.
That said, the Mets now will be probably be looking to make a move in the next month. Even if they are going with a six-man, they will have to find room for Matz, who looks to be just as good as the other three young starters.
So no matter what is said right now, the rotation is not set in stone and you should expect changes over the next month. Right now, the Mets are just trying to showcase the assets they have until the right and proper deal comes along.
And no one can blame general manager Sandy Alderson for that.