With Masahiro Tanaka finally being posted, the starting pitcher market should finally start to open up. Teams will soon have an idea on whether they have a chance to land the Japanese superstar. We may be some time away from finding out Tanaka’s home, but not every team will be in the race for the long haul. Some teams may want to jump on Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez.
For the New York Mets, that may not be something they are looking to do. The Mets have a solid rotation already and have strong prospects awaiting their turn. However, maybe the Mets should be interested in bolstering their rotation through free agency, rather than continuing to build through prospects.
This doesn’t mean the Mets should sign one of the big three, but rather a second-rate guy. After the big three, the talent level does drop off. There are guys like Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens who were once thought of as first-rate pitchers, and there are guys like Jeff Niemann and Jason Hammel who have had some success.
Signing another starting pitcher would do one thing for the Mets: free up their prospects. Santana, Garza or Jimenez would be the surest way to do this. By signing one of them, the Mets could trade top prospects to help fill in other holes. Landing an outfielder, first baseman or shortstop would be top priority.
With a strong top of the rotation, once Matt Harvey comes back, even signing a lesser pitcher could free up the ability to trade for an impact hitter. Curtis Granderson has joined the team, but the lineup is still weak.