Conventional wisdom has either Jeremy Hefner or Dillon Gee losing their rotation spot when Zack Wheeler is promoted.
Why just them?
MARCUM: Time to trade him. (AP)
After sleeping on it, considering Hefner’s strong start in Washington last night, my choice would be to deal Shaun Marcum.
Marcum has gone six-plus innings in his last four starts to show signs he’s coming around physically. Of the three, Marcum has been the least effective, but his name isn’t mentioned because he’s making $4 million.
Marcum threw a strong six innings against the Marlins until he unraveled in the seventh. But, if you’re a contender trying to fill out the back end of your rotation, you’d be happy with six innings.
Realistically, the Mets might have to delay this decision until they get a read on Jon Niese’s sore shoulder. Niese will throw today, but if he’s not ready he could miss another start or go on the disabled list.
However, should Niese be fine, I’m still for dealing Marcum, and economics are part of the reason as his salary would be palatable to a team looking to add. On a side note, I couldn’t help but laugh when I read where the Mets might be buyers in July. Have they not been watching this team?
Terry Collins said it best when he told reporters in Washington about Wheeler: “He’s not going to be the savior. There are a lot of pieces that have to work. One guy is not going to turn this around, of course. It takes 25.’’
Yes, it does. We could go on for hours discussing the Mets’ weaknesses and needs, but for the sake of this argument, let’s keep it to the rotation.
Matt Harvey and Niese, assuming the latter is healthy, are safe. The way Hefner and Gee are pitching, they could attract interest, but have manageable salaries, something the Mets covet. If either are dealt, that opens another hole.
Marcum, meanwhile, is gone after this season. If Wheeler proves he’s ready, there would be no reason to entertain bringing Marcum back, so strike when the iron is at least lukewarm to see what they can get.
Hefner and Gee are worth keeping.
Hefner was brilliant Tuesday night in another hard-luck no-decision, one of four he’s had while throwing a quality start. He had another in a loss. Overall, he’s given the Mets at least six innings in seven of his last eight starts.
The Mets would be ecstatic to get that from Wheeler.
Gee hasn’t been as sharp, but is coming off his best start of the season last week against the Yankees when he gave up one run in seven innings. Overall, the Mets have won four of his last six starts, so he must be doing something right. Gee worked six innings or better in 13 of 17 starts last season, so there’s a track record of productivity.
Keep Hefner and Gee, who might be valuable in the future and deal Marcum, who’ll be a one-year Met at best.
ON DECK: Mets Matters notebook.
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