The New York Mets understood the importance of having at least seven or eight quality starters in 2022.
With both Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer on the wrong side of 30 and with important injuries, pitchers such as Carlos Carrasco were extremely important because they offered viable alternatives who pitched well above the league average.
Carrasco, who is 35 years old, could return for the 2023 campaign if the Mets want.
They have a decision to make, though, because making him return would cost $14 million.
“Across 29 starts in 2022, Carlos Carrasco logged a 3.97 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP while striking out a clean 9.0 batters per 9 innings. Should the Mets pick up his $14 million option for next season to keep him in their rotation?” SNY tweeted.
Across 29 starts in 2022, Carlos Carrasco logged a 3.97 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP while striking out a clean 9.0 batters per 9 innings.
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) October 28, 2022
That 3.97 ERA was closer to the mid-3.00s in mid-August, but from that point on, Carrasco struggled.
Keeping Him Healthy Is Crucial
It’s possible he was getting tired after not having a normal pitcher’s workload in 2021, when he suffered several injuries.
Skill erosion is also a possibility, though, so the Mets should be wary.
Still, for a team that is projected to have one of MLB’s largest payrolls next year, bringing Carrasco back should be a no-brainer.
In a worst-case scenario, he should be a quality backend option, but he has middle-of-the-rotation upside and can provide length if healthy.
After a really difficult 2021, Carrasco proved his worth this season and should return to the Mets as they build a competitive staff.
Having the Carrascos of the world in top shape is often what wins teams championships: it’s not just about the deGroms or Scherzers.
The Mets still have some time to decided whether to keep their veteran starter, but he has a good case for staying in Queens.