With the Mets prioritizing pitching ahead of this year's trade deadline, they ultimately came up empty in this department on Friday.
Although they were able to make a big splash by acquiring infielder Javier Baez from the Cubs, they surprisingly whiffed on upgrading their pitching staff, which was a significant area of need.
And despite general manager Zack Scott expressing the team’s desire to add pitching, the asking price was too high for the Mets to acquire a top of the rotation arm.
Now, ace Jacob deGrom is shutdown with right elbow inflammation that will keep him out until at least September, which makes the Mets’ pitching situation a whole lot dicier.
While the Mets were aware of deGrom’s situation with three hours to go before the 4 p.m. deadline, but Scott said it did not change their approach.
"It didn't really change things because you can't replace Jake," Scott said. "At that point too, the starters that were out there were back of the rotation guys."
Scott went on to reveal that they tried to acquire ace pitcher Jose Berrios from the Twins, but Minnesota preferred the Toronto Blue Jays’ package over what the Mets had to offer.
And at this point, the Mets weren’t willing to sell the farm to upgrade their pitching staff. Instead, they felt comfortable enough with what they had, even without deGrom.
"There’s another party involved and sometimes they see players in a different light … so you can’t control that,” said Scott. “We definitely tried and explored a lot of different things, but we just didn’t match up on everything.”
"The people that work for these other teams are smart people,” he said. “They’re looking very strategically at how they’re going to sell their assets and get the most out of them, and they control things. You’re trying to meet their prices, and even if you do meet it, sometimes they go elsewhere."
On the bright side, the Mets got Carlos Carrasco back last night, who delivered four innings of one run baseball.
In deGrom’s absence, the Mets will be expecting a lot out of Carrasco, however, the right-hander is not yet fully stretched out and is coming off a torn hamstring that has kept him out through the first 101 games of the season.
Beyond Carrasco, the Mets brought in Rich Hill and Trevor Williams, but they are nothing more than backend depth pieces. And Williams, who has a 5.06 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) this year, was optioned to Triple-A after the Mets acquired him as a part of the Baez deal.
"And with respect to the pitching holes that we’ve had, we’ve got Carrasco pitching tonight, we got Rich Hill, and while that might not be a Jacob deGrom or a Jose Berrios, we’re comfortable with what we currently have as we move into those last 60 games,” said team president Sandy Alderson prior to the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Reds.
With exactly 60 games left to go in the 2021 regular season, only time will tell if the Mets have enough pitching to hold them over until they get deGrom back next month. But as of now, the Mets missed out on a big opportunity to bring in reinforcements to bolster their injury riddled pitching staff.