On a day where the Mets added a significant upgrade to their roster via the trade deadline, they lost an even bigger piece of their squad for at least the next month or so.
The Mets are shutting down their ace Jacob deGrom from throwing for two weeks with right elbow inflammation, according to general manager Zack Scott.
DeGrom, who has been on the IL since July 18 with what was initially being called right forearm tightness, suffered a setback after throwing a 36-pitch bullpen session on Thursday.
Despite finishing his side with several pitches in the upper-90's, deGrom didn't feel right afterwards, and the Mets sent him for an MRI.
"We are going to be careful and shut him down for a couple weeks," said general manager Zack Scott. "In a couple weeks, we will re-image and see if the inflammation has gone away. If it goes away, then you start ramping it up to come back to the team."
The good news is, deGrom's MRI revealed no structural damage. However, the Mets will be without their ace for at least another month-plus, as they are now targeting a September return date for their prized arm. And that's also assuming that the inflammation subsides by the time he gets his next MRI in two weeks.
Although the Mets found out about deGrom's setback prior to the 4 p.m. trade deadline, Scott said it did not change their plans to be more aggressive to acquire pitching.
"It didn't really change things because you can't replace Jake," he said. "At that point too, the starters that were out there were back of the rotation guys."
Scott went on to note that one of the top of the rotation starters they were pursuing wasn't an option for them, as the team they were speaking with, felt they could get a better package of players elsewhere.
Instead, the Mets acquired depth starter Trevor Williams as the second piece in their trade for Cubs infielder Javier Baez. Beyond Williams, who has a 5.06 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) this season, the only other move they made to bring in additional pitching help was trading for lefty Rich Hill last week.
With Carlos Carrasco (torn hamstring) making his long awaited debut tonight, the Mets will finally have a five-man rotation once again, even without deGrom.
That being said, they made it clear in recent weeks that pitching was their top priority at the deadline, and they ultimately whiffed due to "high asking prices."
By not adding more pitching, and losing deGrom, the Mets are taking a big gamble on what they have. Especially with Carrasco still needing to fully ramp up, and Taijuan Walker's recent struggles (15 earned runs in his last 9.1 innings).