Retaining Carlos Carrasco isn’t going to do much to stabilize a Mets rotation that is currently in flux.
After picking up the veteran right-hander’s option for the 2023 season, New York still has just Max Scherzer, Tylor Megill, David Peterson, and Joey Lucchesi as the only starting pitchers signed for next year with Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker all opting out of their deals to hit free agency.
How feasible it is to retain all three remains a mystery, though the general consensus indicates that deGrom and Bassitt are the priorities over Walker. But general manager Billy Eppler is obviously doing his due diligence to round out the rotation with more proven arms — and the Tampa Bay Rays appear to be a potential suitor.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported that the Mets, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, and Cincinnati Reds have inquired about Tampa Bay’s “available pitching” ahead of Tuesday’s roster-protection deadline that protects players who are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 7.
A team must add players to their 40-man roster by Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET to avoid the potential of losing them.
To open up space on their roster, the Rays are expected to be active until then, per Morosi.
The pitchers who are potentially on the block are unknown at this time, but the price for a blockbuster deal involving Rays ace Tyler Glasnow would likely be too high for Eppler, who has continuously stated his desire to keep the Mets’ top prospects.
Glasnow, who went 6-2 with a 2.66 ERA last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery, agreed to a one-year, $25 million contract extension through the 2024 season on Thursday.
Shane McClanahan is under team control through the 2027 season, but it’s all through the arbitration process following 2023. The 25-year-old left-hander was an All-Star in 2022, going 12-8 with a 2.54 ERA in just his second MLB season.
Drew Rasmussen (2.84 ERA) and Jeffrey Springs (2.46 ERA) also had strong campaigns for Tampa Bay last year, though they recorded just 146.0 and 135.1 innings, respectively.
Springs is due $3 million in 2023 and goes through arbitration in 2024 before becoming a free agent the following year. Rasmussen’s deal for 2023 is to be determined but is under team control (arbitration) through 2026.