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Mets GM Zack Scott, like many in his position at this point in the season, is very busy. His team is a contender in the National League, and with just a few weeks left until the MLB trade deadline, his phone is his best friend.
Talk about the Mets adding another rotation piece to further amplify the top three of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker has been speculated on for weeks now. Carlos Carrasco, who could start a rehab assignment soon, may return at some point at the end of Jul. Noah Syndergaard could return toward the end of the regular season. But their reliability leaves risk -- something Scott and the Mets may not be able to handle.
"I think at this point, given the timetables of those guys, you can’t make assumptions," Scott told members of the media at Citi Field before a series with the Milwaukee Brewers. "There’s only one trade deadline. It’s not the way we used to have it with August waivers-type trades. You really gotta put your best foot forward in terms of building out the depth the rest of the way.
“I go into it thinking, ‘Yeah, if we get those guys back, it’s a bonus. If you have more guys, you figure it out.’ But yeah, that’s how I look at it."
Scott left the door open that another rotation piece could be the play -- in fact, he said any addition the Mets feel could help them in the second half and hopefully the postseason would be considered, both offensively and with pitching.
But what about the high-end guys like Jose Berrios for the rotation?
"I think we’re open to any type of addition to the roster that makes the team better. We have three very good guys at the top of the rotation, so it doesn’t have to necessarily be that top of the rotation guy. It could just be someone that helps us stabilize those things until we get healthier.”
Cost is going to be the big thing for the Mets at the end of the day, and Scott said as much. The "balance," as he put it, is making sure you don't put all your eggs in one basket to give yourself the best chance short-term but hurt those chances long-term.
That hurt could come with top prospects being traded away, and though Scott said "I don't consider anyone untouchable," he has said no to players, most likely at the top of the prospect rankings list, when teams have called.
In the meantime, though, the Mets are "treading water" in his eyes because injuries to the pitching staff mixed with offensive woes have created a slow stretch -- they've lost six of their last 10 games.
So the pressure is on Scott and the rest of the organization to decide whether or not they need someone else in their rotation to further fortify their chances at making that playoff push. And the days in July will be counting down until the deadline at the end of the month.
But Scott won't force anything.
"I wouldn't talk about it as anxiety so much," he said about the back end of the rotation going through so many guys. "My job is to make sure I don't overreact to the short-term and make a mistake that way."
Mets focused on winning NL East title
With that said about reinforcements, Scott also wants to make sure everyone knows the Mets' goal for the rest of the year.
"Our goal is to win the division. There’s a lot of focus on that," he said.
So buyers would be a good fit next to the Mets in terms of what they will be doing at the deadline.