Pitchers and catchers have their first official work out on Monday, but the Mets should still feel a need to add a player to the group, and it should be Lance Lynn.
If you're confident in the Mets' arms, then you're more daring than me. The bottom of rotation makes them the most hard-to-predict team in baseball. Sure, if Matt Harvey is even just serviceable, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, and Seth Lugo stay healthy, and Robert Gsellman isn't overexposed, New York has a chance to not just contend for the NL East title, but make a deep playoff run.
But if the wheels fall off the wagon again, they're a 90-loss team. And with the collection of position players they've assembled, there is absolutely no room for this ambiguity.
Four of the Mets' eight position players projected to be in the lineup on Opening Day -- Yoenis Cespedes (32), Todd Frazier (32), Asdrubal Cabrera (32), Adrian Gonzalez (35) -- are 32-years-old or older. The Mets have three seasons before Jacob deGrom's free agent year, and four before Noah Syndergaard's. This is the window. This is the time.
So Sandy Alderson needs to resist the temptation of settling for Jason Vargas or Jaime Garcia, and instead, jump in headfirst and grab Lance Lynn.
these are lance lynn's pitchers WAR totals for the full seasons of his career:— Brian Erni (@brianerni) February 8, 2018
since 2014, here are the mets pitchers with over three WAR seasons:
degrom (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
You want reliable? You want a difference maker? Then you sign Lynn, who you can probably get on a three-or-four-year deal. He'll turn 31 in May, so -- in the event of a four-year deal -- you'll only be paying him through his age-34 season. He's already had Tommy John, and showed zero ill effects from it, as he made 33 starts over 186.1 innings in his return last season. He would erase one glaring question mark at a price and term that the front office and ownership can likely live with.
In short, Lynn is good, very good, in fact. The Mets need more good pitchers. I think that makes him a good fit.
And look, I don't want to hear about the pick and international pool money. Yes, since Lynn turned down a qualifying offer, the Mets would forfeit their second-highest pick (pick 46) and $500,000 from their international pool. But again, this team is much closer to pushing their chips to the center of the table than they are tearing it all down. The trades of 2015 and '16 left this farm system barren, and even though I do think rebuilding it should be a priority, it's not as high up on the list as winning a championship.
If you're going to contend with Scherzer-Strasburg-Gio, or eventually, Lester-Darvish-Hendricks (and from the Mets' offseason acquisitions, that is what they look like they're trying to do), then this team needs a third starter it can rely on. Lynn has proven to be just that.
Put the exclamation point on top of the offseason. Bolster this rotation and give it the best chance to succeed. Flags fly forever. So go out and give yourself the best chance to get one.