Who's pitching for Mets in 2024 now that Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are gone? (2024)

andrew tredinnick, northjersey.com

·4 min read

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After the 2023 trade deadline, there is a massive crater atop the Mets' starting rotation.

The front office leveraged the talents of three-time Cy Young winners Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander to bolster their farm system.

Scherzer was shipped to the Texas Rangers on Sunday in exchange for infielder Luisangel Acuña, MLB Pipeline's No. 44 overall prospect. Verlander headed back to the Houston Astros on Tuesday in a deal that landed the Mets outfielder Drew Gilbert, the Astros' No. 1 prospect and MLB's No. 68 overall prospect, along with outfielder Ryan Clifford, the Astros' No. 4 prospect.

But neither of those deals brought back a pitching prospect. Now, the Mets will have to get creative to try and fill out their starting rotation for the remainder of this season and beyond.

Here is the state of the team's rotation following the trades of Scherzer and Verlander:

Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana as anchors

Who's pitching for Mets in 2024 now that Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are gone? (1)

One of the Mets' top-end options heading into next season was on the mound against the Royals on Tuesday night.

Left-hander Jose Quintana has handled himself well in his three starts since returning from bone graft surgery in mid-March. The left-hander dealt his second straight quality start on Tuesday, limiting the Royals to three earned runs on six hits and two walks across 6.2 innings while striking out two.

The 34-year-old southpaw would assuredly like to return to his dependable self in 2024. He will be in his second and final season of a $26 million deal.

In a short time, Kodai Senga, who earned his first All-Star selection has shown that he has the arsenal to shoulder some of the load as an ace.

Summer Sale: Mets' trade deadline moves complete 180-degree turn from a once-promising 2023 season

Another shot for David Peterson, Tylor Megill?

Who's pitching for Mets in 2024 now that Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are gone? (2)

One of the major reasons the Mets are in this mess was the mixed production of David Peterson and Tylor Megill in the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

Peterson appears likely to join the rotation following the trades of Scherzer and Verlander. In 11 starts this season, the left-hander is 2-7 with a 6.46 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. One of the biggest flaws for Peterson, who is arbitration eligible this offseason, has been the inefficiency of his slider, which was his best secondary pitch last season. He's had better luck out of the bullpen this season, with a 2.25 ERA across eight innings.

Meanwhile, the Mets are doing a deep dive on Megill to try and find what has plagued him this season. The towering 28-year-old was 6-4 with a 5.17 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 15 starts with the Mets but has fared even worse in Class AAA Syracuse where he is 0-3 with an 8.67 ERA.

They might be the best options in the short term, but the Mets have some prospects waiting in the wings to try and grow into an opportunity. Mike Vasil, the team's No. 12 prospect, has reached Syracuse, but struggled there. Justin Jarvis, who was acquired for Mark Canha, just recently made his first three starts at the Class AAA level in July.

Back to spending: Free agency options

Who's pitching for Mets in 2024 now that Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are gone? (3)

While Steve Cohen has the vision of building a self-sustaining farm system, the Mets are not quite there yet.

It is likely they'll have to dip into free agency to try and fill some voids, perhaps in the starting pitching ranks.

"What we’ll do is we’ll end up watching a lot of our players the rest of the season and potentially get a chance to make some further evaluations, see how our depth chart looks going into 2024 and understand where we are," GM Billy Eppler said. "I think we’re going to have to go into free agency, and that’s OK. Whether we’re in there for a couple starting pitchers or not, will kind of be seen over these next couple of months."

Aside from Shohei Ohtani, who will be sought from all corners of the league, the top free-agent starting pitchers include Aaron Nola, Julio Urias, Blake Snell and Sonny Gray, among others.

The question becomes would the Mets be willing to shell out another long-term deal for a pricey veteran arm after having to eat some of the salary for Scherzer and Verlander through next season. Or would they go for more of a value?

Then there's Yoshinobu Yamamoto of Nippon Professional Baseball, the same league that produced Senga. Eppler has had success in acquiring talent from Japan, playing a role in the Yankees landing Masahiro Tanaka and the Angels securing Ohtani. After a successful recruiting of Senga, could Eppler do it again?

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NY Mets' 2024 starting rotation after Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander trades

Who's pitching for Mets in 2024 now that Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are gone? (2024)

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