After adding free agent Taijuan Walker, here's how Mets' rotation is shaping up for 2021 and beyond

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Danny Abriano
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, and Noah Syndergaard looking stoic TREATED ART
Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, and Noah Syndergaard looking stoic TREATED ART

The Mets' 2020 season was torpedoed due to the starting rotation, with what the team hoped would be band-aids proving unable to achieve the task of stopping the bleeding.

Free agent signings Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello were dismal. And the Mets were hurt badly by losing Noah Syndergaard for the season due to Tommy John surgery, Marcus Stroman opting out due to the COVD-19 pandemic, and a lack of depth that led to Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman making starts.

It was all very ugly.

But heading into 2021, the Mets' rotation looks like a strength. And it was further bolstered on Friday when they agreed to a two-year deal with Taijuan Walker.

With Walker on board, here's how the Mets' rotation is shaping up in 2021 and beyond...

2021

The Mets now have a front four of Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, and Walker.

Rounding out the rotation will likely be David Peterson or Joey Lucchesi, and it should be Peterson's spot to lose given how he performed in 2020 during his rookie season.

Peterson was the Mets' second-most reliable starting pitcher in 2020 after deGrom, posting a 3.44 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while striking out 40 batters in 49.2 innings.

When it comes to depth, the Mets are much-improved there, with Jordan Yamamoto among the rotation options beyond Peterson or Lucchesi should they suffer any injuries.

Looming over everything is the potential return of Noah Syndergaard, who could be back around June after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

If Syndergaard is able to come back healthy, it's fair to believe that either Peterson or Lucchesi would be squeezed out of the rotation.

2022

Heading into next offseason, the Mets' rotation should be in good shape could be in a bit of flux.

Under team control will be deGrom, Carrasco, Walker, Peterson, and Lucchesi. But both Stroman and Syndergaard are set to be free agents.

If Syndergaard looks like his old self after returning this season, the Mets should be very interested in exploring a long-term deal with him. And a look at the starting pitchers set to hit free agency after the 2021 season makes a reunion with Syndergaard even more appealing.

Beyond Lance McCullers Jr., the most notable starting pitchers expected to be free agents before the 2022 season are Max Scherzer (who will be 37 years old) and Clayton Kershaw (who will be 34 years old and is already pondering retirement).

The Mets could also possibly go the trade route, with Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo among the options if the Cincinnati Reds decide to move one or both of them.

One problem the Mets currently have is that they don't have any impact starting pitching prospects who project as being ready for 2022, but that could change in 2023.

2023 and beyond

DeGrom has the ability to opt out of his deal after the 2022 season, which he recently discussed (if deGrom doesn't opt out, the Mets have control over him through 2024). No matter what, it will be a surprise if the Mets don't find a way to make deGrom a Met for life.

So it should be expected that their rotation in 2023 will again have deGrom at the top. Carrasco could still be here, too, with the Mets holding a $14 million option on him (the option automatically vests if he throws 170 or more innings in 2022).

The Mets also have an option on Walker for 2023 that will guarantee him $6 million and could be worth as much as $8.5 million if incentives are reached.

Peterson and Lucchesi will still be under team control, but the most exciting thing to keep an eye on in 2023 are the potential Mets debuts of top pitching prospects Matt Allan and J.T. Ginn.

Ranked No. 2 and No. 6 by SNY contributor Joe DeMayo on our updated Top 20 Mets prospects list for 2021, Allan and Ginn both project as pitchers with plus stuff who could fit in near the top of a rotation.

And the arrival of Allan and/or Ginn in 2023 could lead to the beginning of a new era for the Mets on the mound.