By signing Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha this week, the Mets have built out quite the collection of starting pitchers.
Porcello and Wacha will join Jacob de Grom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz in New York's starting rotation, a group general manager Brodie Van Wagenen thinks quite highly of.
"There was a lot talked about our lack of starting pitching depth over the last couple of weeks," Van Wagenen said on SNYtv Thursday. "I think that story has changed, and I think that we're probably the deepest starting pitching rotation in baseball."
Considering the Mets share a division with the Nationals, who still boast a starting rotation headlined by Max Scherzer, World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin, this is a pretty bold statement by Van Wagenen.
Obviously he's the general manager and he has to say positive things about the club he's putting together. But to say those exact words on the heels of a rival winning a World Series because of their rotation?
The Mets will host the Nationals in the first series of the season starting on March 26, so we may not have to wait long for these two rotations to face off.
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While the Nationals are in the midst of an incredible mid-season turnaround, things have gone from bad to worse for the rival Mets.
New York entered Thursday 12.5 games behind the first-place Braves in the NL East standings and eight games back in the wild card race. And according to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Mets are now looking to trade star pitcher Noah Syndergaard.
"It's beyond listening," an MLB evaluator told Olney. "They want to move him."
An All-Star in 2016, Syndergaard is in the midst of his worst statistical season, holding a 7-5 record with a 4.33 ERA. But given his age (26) and great form in previous seasons, it's easy to see why a playoff would trade for "Thor." According to The Athletic's Marc Carig, a package for Syndergaard would have to include "a top 30 prospect and a couple of other solid pieces."
It's nearly impossible to imagine a scenario where the Mets trade Syndergaard within the division to the Nats, and it's just as unlikely Washington would match New York's asking price. But Syndergaard's destination could have a major impact on the Nats if he's traded to another NL team fighting for one of the two wild card spots.
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The Nationals are vigorously pursuing a trade for White Sox ace Chris Sale, according to multiple reports. And the collective baseball Internet is hyped for the prospect of a rotation including Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Chris Sale.
MLB Network's Jon Heyman, who has been reporting on the Sale-to-Washington negotiations, thinks the move could put together the best rotation in baseball.
Cue Mets righthander Noah Syndergaard, who was all too eager to shut that down.
But look at the numbers. Last season, Scherzer, Strasburg and Sale finished with 2.96, 3.60 and 3.34 ERAs, respectively. Scherzer led the NL with 20 wins, Sale had 17 and Strasburg had 15. As for strikeouts, Scherzer led the MLB with 284, Sale came in 5th with 233 and Strasburg ranked 21st with 183.
It would be a spectacular group.
Thor didn't say whose rotation would be better than those three. Himself, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey? Close, but not quite. At least not yet.
UPDATE 1:34 p.m.: The Nationals lost on out Sale, who was instead traded to the Red Sox.
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