Mets assistant general manager John Ricco intimated that the Mets may still add to their active offseason with another pitcher, or possibly two.
Ricco told Jim Duquette that the team is still monitoring the market, and they may pounce very shortly.
The #Mets have already spent more than $70 million this winter and Assistant GM John Ricco told @Jim_Duquette and @Mike_Ferrin they still are "monitoring the pitching market" pic.twitter.com/1rw4Yg14cc— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) February 14, 2018
"We've tried to, while paying attention to how this market has developed, we tried to get done the things we needed to get done, and at the same time, take advantage of any opportunities there might be," Ricco said on MLB Network Radio. "I think we're still doing that. We're monitoring the pitching market. I think it's not secret we're interested in bringing in another arm or two, so even in the next few weeks, we're going to be continuing to see how that develops."
When asked if that would be a starter, or a swingman that could both make a sport start and get outs out of the bullpen, Ricco said that's still to be determined.
"We've kind of had in mind adding a starter, but that market is still kind of...we're not sure what that will be," Ricco said. "We're taking advantage of the fact that we have new coaches, and they're getting to know the players. They'll actually spend some time here in the next week or so getting to know them better, and we'll get feedback from them on what they think this staff needs, from Dave [Eiland] and Mickey [Callaway], from their perspective. We have that luxury because there are still a lot pitchers out there that we can kind of pivot either way, depending on what we see here and how early spring develops."
That, of course, is music to my ears, because I think the Mets could benefit from adding both a middle-of-the-rotation starter (like Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb), and a second lefty for the bullpen.
I made my case for Lynn earlier this week, and my stance hasn't changed. Behind the top of the rotation, there are nothing but question marks. Lynn (and yes, I'd absolutely settle for Cobb) eliminate some of the volatility. At this point, it's a no-brainer.
But if the Mets can get that done, they should keep going. In any other offseason, the team would add a swingman-type and bill him to the fan base as a top flight acquisition. And because of this suppressed market, the Mets can probably do both what they should do and what they'd normally do: get a true number three guy to slot behind Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, and get that bonus arm for the pen.
So if I'm Sandy Alderson, not only do I jump on Lynn or Cobb, but I go and get Jaime Garcia (pictured above). Not only is Garcia the biggest success story of thoracic outlet syndrom, and thus, could provide a great sounding board for Matt Harvey, but he's also someone who held lefties to a .252/.288/.396 slash line in 2017.
You can't play Bryce Harper 18 times a season and not prioritize having multiple left handed pitchers on your roster. Right now, the only two on the entire 40-man at Steven Matz and Jerry Blevins. So Garcia would give Mickey Callaway that second, lefty bullet out of the pen, but also provide nice depth in case, at some point this season, the rotation does get banged up.
If the Mets really do go add an arm or two, then we may just have a legitimate contender on our hands. Time will tell if Ricco's words prove to just be talk.
Photo credits: Santiago Mejia | NY Times
Scott Rovak | USA TODAY Sports
Frank Franklin II | AP
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.