Dillon Gee threw off the mound Monday, three days ahead of schedule, but how long will he remain with the Mets?
Gee is the Mets’ sixth-ranked starter, and that doesn’t include Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard, both of whom will be promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas this summer. Yes, the Mets are boast a glut of starting pitching, but exactly how deep is it?
Since I don’t believe the Mets will get immediate major-league help in exchange for Gee, the belief here is he has a higher value on the 40-man roster than as a trade chip. It’s realistic to say the Mets’ rotation isn’t without questions, beginning with health. Let’s forget for a moment the potential for any pitcher to develop arm problems at any time, and look at these issues:
Matt Harvey: He’s recovering from Tommy John and has only 12 career victories in parts of two seasons. Despite his confident statements to the contrary, nobody knows how Harvey will respond coming back from the knife.
Bartolo Colon: As they did with Gee, the Mets will listen to any and all offers for Colon. At 41, he threw 200 innings last season and would be a find for a contender. However, that’s a trade better suited for July.
Zack Wheeler: His command is an issue, and despite glimpses of being the real deal, he’s still largely unproven.
Jacob deGrom: The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year only has last year under his belt. He still has a lot to prove.
Jon Niese: His potential has always outweighed his production. The Mets were also willing to trade him over the winter.
Steven Matz: He’s unproven.
Rafael Montero: Glimpses, but nothing else.
Noah Syndergaard: He’s unproven.
The potential is great, but since there are no guarantees there could be enough chances for Gee to be slotted into the rotation. For now, the $5.3 million they’ll pay him this year represents a solid insurance policy, but for now will likely be used in long relief.
Just trading him for the sake of making a trade is foolish, especially considering the chance for something to go wrong and for him to fill a sudden void. And, if the rotation stays healthy for the first half of the season and Gee pitches well, there could be July interest in him that isn’t there now.
Gee has always been a gamer, and two years ago threw nearly 200 innings. The Mets have control over him for two more years, so there shouldn’t be any rush to trade him. Gee’s preference is to be a starter with the Mets, but that’s not happening right now. He told reporters in Port St. Lucie he’s willing to work out of the pen.
“If I’m asked to be a reliever, then I’m going to do the best I can. … I have no doubt that I can be successful,’’ he said.
And, I have no doubt if they keep Gee, he’ll be of value to the Mets.