The New York Mets, who have no hope of making the playoffs despite their massive investment in the No. 1 payroll, are reportedly looking to acquire a Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) ace looking to make the major leagues after this season.
In an article titled “If the Mets let Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander walk, it poses tricky questions for next year’s starting rotation,” SNY reporter Andy Martino asked, “Let’s say the Mets trade Verlander and Scherzer this summer, who will lead the Mets’ rotation next season, when will the Mets have a championship-caliber rotation, and will they eventually look for a replacement this offseason for their long-term future?
The Mets dumped Jacob deGrom in free agency last winter and brought in the veteran Verlander to form a one-two punch with Scherzer. They also brought in Japanese pitcher Senga Godai, and it was widely believed that they had the best rotation in the majors.
However, when the lid was lifted, Scherzer and Verlander’s performance and stamina fell short of expectations. Both have been hampered by physical issues in the first half of the season. As of today, Scherzer is 8-3 with a 3.99 ERA in 17 starts, while Verlander is 3-5 with a 3.72 ERA in 13 starts. The two are tied for first overall with $4.33 million in salary this season.
Scherzer has a player option after this season, and Verlander is signed through next year. In other words, even if neither player is traded this summer, the Mets are likely to make another big investment this winter.
Martino writes, “Without Verlander and Scherzer, the Mets are left with Senga, Jose Quintana, David Peterson, and Tyler Megill as their 1-4 starters. They need to add one more starter, and the top-tier starters who will hit free agency later this year include Shohei Ohtani, Blake Snell, and Julio Urias.” “The other starting alternative is NPB ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto. He is only 24 years old.
Yamamoto is the ace of the Orix Buffaloes and is 9-3 with a 1.74 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 93⅓ innings pitched in 13 games this season. He is first in the Pacific League in wins, second in ERA, and third in strikeouts. He has been the best NPB ace of his generation, winning the Pacific League Pitcher of the Year award for the second straight season in 2021 and 2022.카지노사이트
Martino writes, “Scouts who have watched Yamamoto describe him as a Chris Bassett with a fastball. He has a similar repertoire to Bassett, but his fastball is much harder,” and that he is good enough to be a second or third starter on a winning team. He could be worth a lot more than the five years and $75 million Senga received.
Mets general manager Billy Eppler’s behavior is particularly interesting in this regard. According to Martino, Eppler has traveled to Japan several times this season to monitor Yamamoto. Eppler is a “Ji-Il faction” member, having acquired Senga last winter as well as Otani in the winter of 2017 when he was the Angels’ general manager.
It remains to be seen if the Mets’ Stephen Cohen, the richest owner in Major League Baseball, will spend big again after watching a disappointing season, but there is a consensus that Yamamoto’s value is among the highest of any Japanese pitcher.