Now that Gio Gonzalez is off the board, all eyes in Mets fandom turn to Dallas Keuchel. The argument is if the Mets want to win this season, they cannot hand the ball to Jason Vargas every five days. While that is true, the Mets also need to think about next season and beyond.
Let’s take a look at the top of the rotation. Jacob deGrom is locked up. Noah Syndergaard will be the next pitcher to get a big contract extension, perhaps even nine figures. Which brings us to Zack Wheeler. If he continues to pitch like he did Tuesday, he could demand a $100+ million dollar deal this off-season. And let’s face it, the Mets (and not many teams) can afford three starters living in that rarefied air. So Wheeler will likely be gone after this season.
Keuchel would be a perfect replacement at a more reasonable price. He has said if he signs a one-year deal, he wants more than the $17.9 million qualifying offer that he turned down from the Astros. He would take less in a multi-year deal. Let’s say the Mets can get him for three years at $15 million per year. Suddenly that third spot in the rotation is locked up for a while.
So yes, go out and sign Dallas Keuchel with an eye towards solidifying the rotation for a couple of years and not having to overpay to keep Wheeler. It’s a win-win, which hopefully will lead to the ultimate win.