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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Once a Met Starter, Only a Met Starter

Those wisps of smoke visible in the autumn sky remind us that this has been a busy birthday week amid the lofty heights of the Mets’ Mount Pitchmore, with Dwight Gooden turning 58 on November 16 and the 78th anniversary of Tom Seaver being born having come around on November 17. Next date to celebrate, commemorate and blow out candles up on that mountaintop: December 23, Jerry Koosman’s 80th birthday.

What each of these three icons of taking the ball; throwing it; and succeeding lavishly have in common, beyond their place atop the topography of Mets hurling, is they started their major league careers as Mets…yet didn’t finish it that way.

You don’t have to be the fourth face on the Mets’ Mount Pitchmore to claim common ground with Seaver, Gooden and Koosman on that count, but more on him in a while. A slightly lesser mountain populated by Met starters who started in the bigs as Mets — pick your pitchers — would say the same thing. Maybe your name is Matlack. Or Swan. Or Darling. Or Jones. Or, of more recent vintage, Harvey or Wheeler or Syndergaard or Matz. Your MLB debut (even if you were first signed professionally elsewhere) came as a New York Met. You would eventually make plenty of pitches as a Met. But you wouldn’t make all of them.

When David Wright stepped aside at the end of a long if not long enough career as nothing but a New York Met, we practically fainted from lack of precedent. With the exceptions of Ed Kranepool and Ron Hodges, nobody who’d lasted double-digit years in the majors did so exclusively as a Met. When we mourned the too-soon passings of Pedro Feliciano and Jeff Innis, we noted they were relievers who provided all the relief they could for the Mets and only the Mets. Feliciano in particular captured our imagination for flitting in and out of other organizations but not wearing their uniform in official action, especially when he took the Steinbrenners’ money for two years and used his time in their employ to rehab rather than pitch for them. True to the orange and blue, indeed.

But starting pitchers, the signature actors on the Met stage, have been a different story. There have been no high- or mid-profile exceptions to the Everybody Leaves Home Eventually rule. While we toast the memory of Tom Terrific every November 17 (every day, really), we try to forget that 38.949 percent of Seaver’s starts came as something other than a Met. The percentages we prefer to remember are 98.84, his Hall of Fame vote; .781, his W-L pct. in his first Cy Young season from going 25-7 in 1969; and 61.051, or the inverse of 38.949. Tom made more than six of every ten of his starts as a Met. William DeVaughn advises cleansing the Seaverean section of your mind of Reds and White Sox and Red Sox imagery and just being thankful for what you got. We got a lot of Tom Seaver.

Not all of him, though. Never all of it with our most substantial starting pitchers. Doc Gooden the no-hitter crafter for the Yankees. Jerry Koosman the 20-game winner for the Twinkies. Jon Matlack placed second in league ERA in 1978 as a Texas Ranger. Ron Darling went to the playoffs in 1992 as an Oakland A. We’ve already hit of late on the sore-ish subjects of Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard. But we could go way back, too. Before Seaver was traded to Cincinnati, Jim McAndrew pitched for San Diego, Gary Gentry pitched for Atlanta and Nolan Ryan pitched for California. Some of the moves that led to those reassignments were better than others for the Mets — the trade of Gentry begat Felix Millan; the trade of Ryan begat Jim Fregosi (plus a half-century of Ryan-related regret) — but within the context of a Met starter starting, continuing and finishing a career as a Met, the outcome was essentially the same.

Anybody of note come notably close to being a Met and nothing but a Met? A few. McAndrew, for example, started 110 games as a major leaguer, 105 of them for the Mets. That’s better than 95 percent made for the Mets. Yet those five times he took the hill as a Padre starter spilled an infinitesimal if indelible brown and yellow blot on Jim’s Metsian purity. A little short of a hundred miles up Interstate 5 from San Diego, another Met starting pitcher of considerable tenure drove off the road of his journey to keeping it 100. Craig Swan started 184 games as a Met between 1973 and 1983. In 1984, the onetime National League earned run average champion was languishing in the Met bullpen. The club released him in May. Swan was 33. Two entities decided he still had competitive pitches embedded in his right arm: Swan and the California Angels. Thus, Craig went to Anaheim, gave extending his career a shot with one more start (and one more relief appearance) before finding himself off MLB mounds once and for all.

One-hundred eighty-five career starts in all. One-hundred eighty-four career starts as a Met. That’s 99.459 percent for us. So, so close. Swannie, you coulda been practically the pitching version of Ed Kranepool. Alas, that probably wasn’t your goal as summer approached in ’84.

How about a loophole? Jason Isringhausen came up to the majors with the Mets, made 52 starts between 1995 and 1999 with the Mets in that period and never made a start for anybody else. Eureka? Fool’s gold. Izzy never threw the first pitch of a game for the A’s, Cardinals, Rays or Angels, but he surely threw pitches at other junctures of loads of games for them. Jason appeared in 724 major league games. In 611, he was something other than a Met, usually as one of the leading closers of his day. The most accomplished of the Generation K trio posted 300 saves overall. His first, in ’99, and final seven, in Recidivist 2011, were for the Mets. The rest were for the A’s and Cardinals.

Verdict: not much of a loophole.

Let’s take a deeper look at this phenomenon through the prism of the first 60 years of New York Mets baseball. Here’s every Met pitcher who a) started his major league career as a Met; b) started at least 50 games for the Mets; and c) didn’t pitch for the Mets in their 61st year.

(% of career starts as a Met; excludes 2022 Mets)
Tom Seaver 395 (61.051%)
Jerry Koosman 346 (65.655%)
Dwight Gooden 303 (73.902%)
Ron Darling 241 (66.209%)
Jon Matlack 199 (62.579%)
Bobby Jones 190 (78.838%)
Craig Swan 184 (99.459%)
Jon Niese 179 (90.863%)
Mike Pelfrey 149 (58.203%)
Zack Wheeler 126 (64.615%)
Gary Gentry 121 (87.681%)
Noah Syndergaard 120 (83.333%)
Dillon Gee 110 (85.938%)
Steven Matz 107 (73.288%)
Jim McAndrew 105 (95.455%)
Matt Harvey 104 (57.777%)
Ed Lynch 98 (82.353%)
Nolan Ryan 74 (9.573%…with 295 wins elsewhere)
Nino Espinosa 67 (53.175%)
Jae Seo 66 (64.706%)
Mike Scott 60 (18.809%)
Rick Aguilera 59 (66.292%…and 311 saves elsewhere)
Masato Yoshii 58 (49.153%)
Walt Terrell 56 (19.048%)
Jason Isringhausen 52 (100%…but 292 saves elsewhere)

In case you’re wondering, Sid Fernandez’s big league career had a John Stearns-style start to it. Stearns made one appearance in a Phillies uniform, on September 22, 1974, before his trade to the Mets the following December. El Sid was an L.A. Dodger for two games at the tail end of 1983 — first as a reliever, next as a starter — prior to Frank Cashen gladly taking Fernandez off Tommy Lasorda’s hands. Sid proceeded to make 250 starts for the Mets between 1984 and 1993, fourth-most by anybody in Mets history. Unlike Stearns, who never played for anybody else beyond his Met years, Fernandez logged innings (including 49 starts to bring him to 300 in all) for three other teams from 1994 to 1997. And in case you’re really wondering, Sid Fernandez and John Stearns shared a Met starting lineup exactly once, on September 26, 1984; John was the first baseman that Wednesday night at Shea, as Sid notched a 7-1 win over Jerry Koosman and the Phillies in the season’s final home game.

If you were wondering any of that, I truly value the cut of your jib.

ANYWAY…that’s 25 pitchers who made at least 50 starts as a Met from the beginning of a major league career and none of them spending an entire major league career as a Met through 2022. That tells us how hard it is to hang on to a starting pitcher and how effective the pitchers who became icons for us were, given that they had to establish their iconography in something less than the span of an entire career.

But what about starting pitchers who began their careers as Mets, made at least 50 starts as Mets, and happened to be Mets in 2022? They’ve been left out of the above accounting because there is a TBD nature to their careers. Also “they” are exactly one Mets starting pitcher. Maybe you’ve caught on to where this is going, beyond the chance to acknowledge the birthdays of Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver.

To be determined, indeed, is the nature of Jacob deGrom’s career, specifically where it will continue in 2023. Free agent Jake is already one-quarter of the Mets’ Mount Pitchmore. If we’d included deGrom’s 209 starts in the list above, he’d rank between Darling and Matlack, but (with no disrespect to Ron and Jon) his peers sit at the top of the chart. Seaver. DeGrom. Gooden. Koosman. Shuffle the second, third and fourth names as you like, but they belong in a row. Jake’s got nine seasons in the books, all of them as a Met. In every one of those seasons, he has never been less than one of the two most significant pitchers in the Met rotation, and usually he hasn’t had even that much company.

In the context of the list above, he not only blew past the likes of Jon Niese and Dillon Gee practically upon arrival, he outlasted contemporaries Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. Those four plus deGrom shaped up as the core of a pitching staff that was going to grow into full maturity together. As individuals, each of the other four had his extended Met moment prior to a departure that appears inevitable in retrospect. DeGrom’s Met life, meanwhile, self-renewed without a ton of fuss — only a torrent of success. Except for not remaining unfailingly, unquestionably in what we refer to as one piece, Jacob deGrom has done nothing to make a Mets fan wish he won’t be celebrating his 35th birthday in a Mets uniform on June 19.

Of course Jake hasn’t remained unfailingly, unquestionably in one piece in his eighth and ninth seasons in the bigs and, as more than implied a sentence ago, he will turn 35 this coming June. If you want to pick apart the case for never letting him leave, beyond a need to count Steve Cohen’s money or calculate luxury tax impact on the construction of the rest of the roster, there were a couple of walls he hit in some of his September starts and there were a couple of starts where his core competency of being absolutely untouchable wasn’t in evidence inning after inning. A slightly diluted deGrom was still a sensational bet in Rob Manfred’s gambling-obsessed enterprise. Jake notched the first postseason victory by a Mets starter in seven years, and you wouldn’t wager against him notching the next one fairly soon if given the chance to lead the Mets toward another, hopefully deeper October run.

Mount Pitchmore is so named because its occupants are the pitchers good sense told you should pitch more for the Mets. In a given inning. In a given game. In a given series. In a given career. Seaver, Koosman and Gooden weren’t given the opportunity to keep it 100. Maybe in a given moment it didn’t seem off to have them out of the contemporary picture. Yet you look back and you wish you could see each as only a Met. DeGrom still has 100 in play. Began as a Met. Excelled as a Met. Can still go on as a Met and finish as a Met and nothing else. That would be 100% my preference.

If I have to eventually understand that progress moves the Mets and Jacob in different directions, I will pivot as events dictate. I acknowledge the risk/reward ratio of re-signing deGrom entering 2023 looks different than it did heading into 2019. Nevertheless, my choice is to view at least one quarter of the Mets’ Mount Pitchmore is something other than historical perspective. I’d like to watch Jacob deGrom pitch in a New York Mets uniform for all his baseball years to come. And when he’s done, I’d like to see his name ensconced atop the list of most starts by a pitcher who began his MLB career as a Met and never pitched for another MLB team.

Do you know who’s atop that specific list right now? Well, Jake, obviously, but that’s with the TBD caveat. Not only is deGrom first with 209 starts, David Peterson is second with 43 and Seth Lugo — only sometimes a starter (other than in his heart, perhaps) — is third with 38. Peterson’s been on our scene barely three seasons and Lugo is actively shopping his services around the industry. Tylor Megill, a rookie in 2021, is already sixth on this list with 27 starts. You can see the inherent folly of referring to players just getting going or going through free agency as Lifetime Mets.

If we limit eligibility to Met starting pitchers who we know for certain never pitched and never will pitch for another Major League team, the list sits at the foot of Mount Pitchmore. If we remove 2022 Mets from consideration, we can’t use a baseline of 50 starts as a Met. Or 40 starts as a Met. To get a list with enough names to make the exercise worthwhile, let’s set our minimum as a mere 5 starts. That’s pitchers who started their MLB careers as Mets, made at least FIVE STARTS and never pitched for anyone else in the bigs. You wouldn’t think we’re asking for a lot. All we’re going for is the amount equivalent to the quantity of fingers on one standard-issue human hand.

Let’s count upward this time.

BOB MYRICK (5 starts): A reasonably effective lefty reliever from 1976 to 1978. Got his starts for teams going nowhere. Bob’s starting career went the same place. Two of his starts were second games of doubleheaders, usually a tipoff that the manager simply needed someone to eat a few innings. Myrick also got the in-season starting assignment that in most years was the hallmark of a pitcher the manager didn’t have many other starting plans for: the Mayor’s Trophy Game, in 1977 (it doesn’t count toward Bob’s total). Was traded to Texas in 1979 with somebody to be mentioned several slots ahead on this list. Like his trade companion, Bob never made it back to the majors after being a Met.

BRENT GAFF (5 starts): The Mets had lost four in a row and really could have used a boost from their minor league callup on July 7, 1982. They got one for seven innings from Brent, who kept the Giants off the board…until the eighth. He wound up losing, 3-2, in his debut (and the Mets’ losing streak would reach seven), but a potential starter was born. “He really showed me something pitching out of that bases-loaded situation in the seventh,” George Bamberger said. “I wanted him to win real bad. I was heartbroken when he didn’t.” Bambi’s heart mended enough to give Gaff four more starts in ’82. Brent merged anew as a valuable reliever for Davey Johnson in 1984, prior to injury curtailing his career.

CHRIS SCHWINDEN (6 starts): Less remembered for his half-dozen uninspiring starts early in the Terry Collins era — the final results of which were 6-5 losses three times and 10-1, 18-9 and 8-1 losses the other three times— than for his coming through the waiver process with his right arm somehow intact. After what proved to be his final big league appearance in 2012, Chris was waived by the Mets and picked up by the Blue Jays; waived by the Blue Jays and picked up by the Indians; waived by the Indians and picked up by the Yankees; and waived by the Yankees and picked up by…the Mets…all in a span of less than five weeks. Last pitched professionally for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League in 2014; started 25 games and won 14 of them.

BOB MOORHEAD (7 starts): The first Met to make his major league debut as a Met, in the very first game the Mets ever played, too. Bob might have been the canary in the 1962 Mets’ coal mine. In April, he made six appearances in relief; the Mets lost them all. From May 6 through June 9, he pitched in nine games, starting and relieving; the Mets went 5-4. Prosperity took a holiday thereafter, with the Mets posting a record of 1-22 when Moorhead took the mound in any capacity. Bob wouldn’t pitch for the Mets again until 1965: nine relief appearance in nine losses. One hopes he didn’t believe the Mets’ lack of success reflected upon him personally. Most every Met was kind of a bad-luck charm in those days.

ALAY SOLER (8 starts): A lifesaver, or at least a holeplugger, for a spell in 2006. The first-place Mets weren’t exactly drowning, yet they never seemed to have enough reliable starting pitching. They turned to Alay, a Cuban defector whose MLB debut came at age 26, and he threw a couple of early-June gems, most notably a two-hit shutout at Arizona in the midst of the 9-1 road trip that all but clinched the division title. Soler’s effectiveness wore off, Willie Randolph found other options, and the righty fell out of the Mets’ plans before the Fourth of July.

BOB APODACA (11 starts): The reliever who wore the fireman’s helmet between the trade of Tug McGraw and the acquisition of Skip Lockwood — leading the 1975 Mets in saves with 13 — Bob was given handfuls of starts in 1974 and 1976. That would happen with relievers back then. His first came in a contingency role when Matlack was ailing. Yogi Berra handed Dack the ball and Dack handed him five innings of two-run ball and a win over Bob Gibson and the Cardinals. Ultimately, Apodaca’s role would be to sit on the DL for a very long time following ligament damage to his right elbow in a Spring Training game in 1978. He never pitched in the majors again, but sure did a lot of coaching there, including for Bobby Valentine’s renaissance Mets of the late ’90s.

SCOTT HOLMAN (14 starts): Every generation has that Triple-A comer a fan is convinced is gonna come up and be the answer, based on nothing but a vague sense generated by staring at his name in the back of the yearbook or The Sporting News’s Tidewater stats. My guy was Scott Holman. Just wait until Scott Holman gets here, I told myself in the early 1980s. Three quality starts after the rosters expanded in 1982 made me look like a visionary. By the summer of ’83, things grew a little blurry, as Scott receded from rotation to relief. His last MLB appearance came on September 29, 1983. Great days awaited the Mets. Holman would spend them in the minors, striving to get back for a taste.

COREY OSWALT (14 starts): Corey Oswalt called and said he doesn’t belong on this list, that after a dozen Met starts in 2018 and one apiece in 2020 and 2021, he’s still very much active, pointing to his presence with three different organizations in 2022 as proof, that for all I know he’s gonna have another start in the majors. I reluctantly responded that his Triple-A stints in Sacramento (the Giants), Lehigh Valley (the Phillies) and Albuquerque (the Rockies) — and the combined 6.57 ERA he posted at those stops — may not be the compelling evidence he believes it to be. Corey is currently a free agent. He’s welcome to pitch for another major league team and hop off this list ASAP. Until then, he’s sticking around next to Scott Holman. Should Oswalt get another chance at the major league level, may he enjoy the run support he received the day he notched his second MLB win, in the first game of the doubleheader of August 16, 2018. Final score at Citizens Bank Park: Mets 24 Phillies 4; it was the most runs the Mets have ever tallied in one game. The record will show Oswalt protected an eleven-run lead in the fifth inning to secure his victory.

JENRRY MEJIA (18 starts): An alternately promising and injured righty whose starts were scattered within four seasons of mostly relieving. Some of his stints were positively mouthwatering. The afternoon half of a day-nighter in Washington in 2013 stands out in memory: seven innings, zero runs, an 11-0 late-July whitewashing that elevated the Mets to 22 wins in their previous 36 games, or the high point of that otherwise godforsaken season. Jenrry found his groove as the Met closer in 2014, nailing down 28 saves for a team finally on the upswing. Then there was something about PEDs and that was basically that for Mejia.

MIKE BRUHERT (22 starts): You’ve been waiting to find out who was traded alongside Bob Myrick to Texas, haven’t you? Wait no more! It was Mike Bruhert, stalwart of the Mets’ ascent to prominence in April of 1978…or have you forgotten Mike’s six innings of one-run ball versus the Cardinals that raised the Mets’ record to 7-5 and his own record to 1-1? Well, I remember those first weeks of a season that eventually disintegrated fondly. I also remember not knowing in advance anything about either Bruhert or reliever Mardie Cornejo, another righty who, I swore once I saw them on the Opening Day Roster, were gonna make 1978 a total upgrade from miserable 1977. Final record in 1977: 64-98. Final record in 1978: 66-96. So there, says this former fleetingly optimistic 15-year-old. Mike is probably more famous — in circles in which Mike is famous — for having been Gil Hodges’s son-in-law, marrying Irene Hodges, the daughter who gave the touching Hall of Fame acceptance speech for her late dad this past July. (The marriage didn’t last.) The trade of future Fordham pitching coach Bruhert and future Mississippi businessman Myrick to the Rangers, not incidentally, was for a fading Dock Ellis. Bruhert hung in as a minor leaguer for four seasons after 1978, a year longer than Myrick did. Former All-Star Ellis pitched to a 6.04 ERA as a Met before the Mets sold his contract back home to championship-bound Pittsburgh. In his spellbinding 2021 memoir Cobra, Dave Parker remembered “we were all aware of Dock’s record that season,” but the prodigal Buc explained it away by detailing “how the Mets overworked his arm in the bullpen, constantly having him warm up and then sit down”. The Pirates welcomed Ellis back enthusiastically, though he wound up pitching in only three games, the last three of his career, all of them Pittsburgh losses. In all, Bob Myrick and Mike Bruhert for Dock Ellis was one of those trades that can fairly be said to have helped absolutely nobody.

RANDY TATE (23 starts): Like Mike Bruhert, Randy Tate’s not quite two-dozen starts in the major leagues, all as a Met, were confined to one season, in Tate’s case 1975. His signature outing was the near no-hitter against the Expos on August 4. The seven hitless innings, much like Gaff’s debut seven years later, blew up in the eighth and turned into a loss. The rest of Tate’s professional career took place in the minors. I’m still amazed that the starter who started the most games behind Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Jon Matlack on those 1975 Mets is someone who never pitched in the majors the year before and would never pitch in the majors again.

ERIC HILLMAN (36 starts): Eric was a tall drink of water for a parched rotation in August of 1992, shutting down the Pirates for eight innings in his first start (on Tom Seaver Hall of Fame Night, no less). At 6-foot-10, he didn’t throw as hard as one might have imagined, but he had pretty good control. Not great luck, and not a great team behind him. When the Mets let him go in 1994, his baseball future awaited in Japan, where he racked up a dozen wins for Bobby Valentine’s Chiba Lotte Marines in 1995 and another 14 the next season for the same club, albeit for a different manager. Eric must have picked up some pointers, because he has become a staple of Mets fantasy camps, where attendees have raved for years about the man’s coaching. What they may not realize is the distinction Coach Hillman shares with the current Mets pitching coach.

JEREMY HEFNER (36 starts): You know this guy. He comes out to the mound to confer with the likes of deGrom, Peterson, Lugo and Megill. Hef, as a person named Hefner is inevitably known, has become one of the well-regarded pitching coaches in the major leagues. His pitching career may not have hinted at this particular chapter of his life, as he was, at most, a pretty decent starter for a fairly brief period. The year before deGrom debuted, Jeremy shared a rotation with Harvey, Wheeler, Niese and Gee. Over two seasons, before Tommy John surgery derailed him, he started three-dozen times, occasionally very well. In his first Met/MLB start, he got clobbered by the Padres, but did hit a home run, something no pitcher the Mets call up to Citi Field will ever say again. And if Jacob deGrom does re-sign with the New York Mets and spends the rest of his career with the New York Mets, here’s something we’ll never be able to say again:

Eric Hillman and Jeremy Hefner are the all-time leaders in games started by Mets pitchers who we know never pitched or will never pitch for any other major league team.

Attempt to absorb that again, if you will. Fine gentlemen by all indications, fellas who pitched more than regular folks like you and me ever will for the Mets. The same could be said of everybody namechecked from Myrick and Gaff and up through this particular chart. I’ve learned after taking these kinds of historical dives and understanding the talent and effort required in making the majors for even a single inning (and learning the toll injuries can take on potential) to go light on the scoffing at or dismissing of pitchers whose major league careers don’t jump off the virtual page let alone measure up to those of a Tom Seaver or a Jerry Koosman or a Dwight Gooden or a Jacob deGrom. Sure, some of these guys, if we remember them much, it’s probably for the kind of pitching that signaled they weren’t destined for the most bountiful of big league tenures. That said, they had big league tenures. That’s incredible for any portion of any lifetime.

But c’mon. At the top of a list of MOST STARTS/NEVER LEFT, especially when we’re talking about a franchise defined at its peak by the Franchise and by starting pitching in general, we should be able to have a name that isn’t — and I say this with proper accord for two righthanders who wore No. 53 perfectly honorably — Eric Hillman’s or Jeremy Hefner’s. Not when we have a chance to someday have that name be, on a permanent basis, Jacob deGrom’s.

Two-hundred nine starts and counting. Topping this list isn’t the only to reason to keep Jacob deGrom’s total of major league starts as a Met and NOTHING but a Met increasing. But it’s up there.

A new episode of National League Town is out, celebrating Buck Showalter’s Manager of the Year award; praising HBO’s Willie Mays documentary; remembering the late Met Chuck Carr; and visiting Met Lit novelist Kevin Chapman. Give it a listen here or wherever you find your podcasts.

5 comments to Once a Met Starter, Only a Met Starter

  • Ed

    I’m not quite understanding why Jacob deGrom is not on the list. He started with the Mets made 209 starts (or 198 if we discount 2022). I think he should be the 4th face on Mets Pitchmore. I am not happy about how he has mistreated the Mets fans and organization with the contract bullshit – but he deserves the recognition. What am I missing?

    • If it wasn’t clear, Ed, I’m setting aside active Mets to make the point of what the Most Starts By Mets Who *Were* Only Mets looks like once somebody with a considerable amount of starts leaves. Should deGrom stick around a la Wright, he will own this category probably into perpetuity. But the second he leaves and throws a pitch for somebody else, we’re back in Hillman/Hefner territory, pending what becomes of youngsters Peterson and Megill. If Jacob re-signs what amounts to a lifetime deal, I think we’re set. (He certainly will be.)

  • Ed

    Ok thanks I got it. I don’t think he’s coming back and to be honest at age 35 with all his medical issues I wouldn’t pay him $40-45M on with additional years bringing it near $120M in total. I just don’t think its smart and I am annoyed with him making the contract an issue since the first day of Spring Training. Lets hope Cohen is smart and signs younger starters rather than going after Verlander. I would take a fly on Syndergard as his arm should be stronger next season, but needs to develop more pitches. I’d offer $30M over 2 seasons.

  • Curt Emanuel

    I like this kind of stuff. I don’t know if anyone else does this but I actually go to Baseball Reference and look wistfully at our career pages and the paucity of stats compared with other clubs. Where is our position player with 400 home runs or 1500 RBIs? Our pitcher with 250-plus wins or 3,000 strikeouts? Right now I half-hope we re-sign Lugo just so we can have 43 players vs 42 that qualify according to them for being on our ERA listing – a mere 500 Innings Pitched.

    I could justify this by saying part of it’s the era of Free Agency we’ve spent most of our club existence in. But during this period the Yankees have Jeter, the Orioles have Ripken, Chipper Jones put up big numbers for the Braves and the Astros – created at the same time as us and a much smaller market team – have Bagwell and Biggio. So I am, for now, attributing this to the Wilpons with a hearty assist from M. Donald Grant AKA Satan Himself. And you’ll notice I can’t come up with a pitcher off the top of my head.

    David was supposed to change this but injuries took away another 3-5 peak years that might have given us a borderline HOF career with 2500 hits, 400 HRs and 1500 RBIs. Now I’m hanging my hopes on Pete and recognizing that there’s nobody on the horizon with pitching with Jake likely spending most of his time in Texas next season.

    None of this means anything I suppose but it’s something I look at.

  • Seth

    I guess Jeremy Hefner is a good pitching coach (dunno, we don’t have any WS rings this year), but I have too much PTSD with him. All I can remember was that he was NOT the pitcher you ever wanted to see come into the game.