Opening weekend was ominous for Mets’ rotation, and club is open to external fixes

It's hard to find anyone around here with a positive takeaway about what they saw from the Mets rotation during the season-opening sweep last weekend against Milwaukee. And now, with Tylor Megill landing on the injured list with a shoulder strain, the team has to do something about it.

Needing a starter to replace Megill in the rotation, the Mets are canvassing external options, including veteran right-hander Julio Teheran, according to league sources.

The team pursued Teheran in late February, and nearly landed him, in part because of a relationship with the likable Mets vice president Eduardo Brizuela, who was in the Milwaukee front office when Teheran pitched for the Brewers last season.

Baltimore offered a $100,000 signing bonus, which is unusually high, and Teheran took it. He pitched to a 3.38 ERA in 13.1 Grapefruit League innings but opted out after he did not make the Opening Day roster. (Teheran is not willing to go to Triple-A for the Mets, either, sources say).

Now the sides have re-engaged, though Teheran has other options and a deal with New York is not a sure thing. The Mets are hardly in a position to rule out external options. The organization derived some of its optimism about being a playoff from confidence in their rotation. That confidence exceeded what many neutral observers felt.

It’s obviously far too soon to say that the Mets are wrong. The team is not even one turn through that rotation. But the injury to Megill, who joins Kodai Senga on the shelf, creates a need for more bodies.

That need is complicated by a rule that prohibits a team from calling up players on the 40-man roster who were optioned to start the season until April 12. The rule creates a challenge in adding Jose Butto in the short term -- though Butto had a terrific spring and looks poised to help the Mets soon enough.

If another player happens to get injured over the next few days, the Mets can avoid the restriction and call up Butto or anyone else on the 40-man.

But signing a free agent like Teheran will allow the club to improve its rotation depth, keeping Butto and his fellow prospects in the system and ready to be called on when another starter inevitably lands on the IL at some point.

At this point, with the earliest results raising at least mild concerns about the team’s pitching, they might as well add to the group.