The Mets are done with major signings, but there is still some space to fill out with smaller signings. For instance, the Mets shored up the bench by bringing back Omar Quintanilla. That’s not the piece that will win the World Series for the Mets, but it at lest makes them as good as they were last year. There is also some talk about adding some names to the bullpen mix, such as former Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs.
But the best small ticket item the Mets brought in is John Lannan.What the Mets have now in the rotation is encouraging. Obviously without Matt Harvey, it’s missing some punch, but without a major sophomore slump from Zack Wheeler, major regression from Jonathon Niese and Bartolo Colon. or other issues hitting Dillon Gee, we should have a competitive rotation. The only question was at fifth starter.
The word around the webs had Jenrry Mejia penciled in as the fifth starter. Jacob deGrom had a shot at it, as did Rafael Montero. But now with Lannan in the fold, we have a genuine, bonafide innings eater on hand. Why is this better? We know what to expect with Lannan. In seven seasons he’s pitched to a 4.12 ERA, almost entirely as a starter. Those are fine numbers for a fifth starter. It’s something I’m sure we’ll be able to use and something I’m sure we’ll need, especially seeing as all those other options are young. Mejia is coming off injury, so he may not be ready to claim a starting job right away. He may also get figured out, and the magical string of starts he had last season will be exposed. Hopefully Mejia pitches to the caliber of a number 2-3 starter, because that would be an improvement over Lannan.
Obviously Lannan is coming off injury himself, but his upside runs to the tune of 200 innings at an ERA just under 4. That’s right in the wheelhouse for a fifth starter, who may eventually be replaced by Noah Syndergaard. If Lannan pitches well, he could be moved at the deadline, The Mets could move Colon instead is Syndergaard starts hot. And if he sucks or doesn’t find a major league spot, he’s got an opt out in June and a very cuttable contract. It’s a great signing by Alderson. Pitching depth is one of the things a contending team needs, and Lannan represents as reliable fifth/sixth starter.