Blue Jays trade rumors: Could the Jays capitalize on the Mets rotation surplus?

Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets
Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

There has no been no team more active in free agency this offseason than the New York Mets.

Not only has the club re-signed Brandon Nimmo to a huge contract, but they brought aboard reigning AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, Japanese standout Kodai Senga and revitalized left-hander José Quintana.

So where does that leave their pitching staff? Well, in a word, overcrowded.

Now that Verlander, Senga and Quintana have been added to the rotation picture, there are roughly five pitchers that need to fit into the lone spot behind them and Max Scherzer.

Outside of that quartet, each of David Peterson, Tylor Megill and Carlos Carrasco could earn starting opportunities in the upcoming campaign. Elieser Hernández and Joey Lucchesi are available on the 40-man roster as well.

In Carrasco's case, there are rumors beginning to circle the league that the Mets are open to dealing him.

The 36-year-old veteran has been around the game for what feels like forever. He broke into the big leagues all the way back in 2009 with the Cleveland Indians before going on to have one of the more successful 11-year runs in their franchise's history. He has spent the last two seasons in New York, posting one horrible season and a solid one to follow up.

Set to earn $14M in 2023, Carrasco is available at a cheaper rate than some of these huge free agent contracts we've seen handed out in recent days. Could there be a fit for him in Toronto? Not only is the longtime veteran on an expiring contract, but he's getting up there in age and could possibly be had for cheap as far as players the Jays would send to New York in return for him.

Carrasco, affectionately nicknamed "Cookie", made 29 starts for the Mets last season, going 15-7 with a 3.97 ERA and a 3.53 FIP. His 97 ERA+ is a little bit lower than it's been in year's past, but he proved last season that he still has something left in the tank as he nears his 36th birthday.

The argument could be made that the Jays have a similar pitching surplus than the Mets do, but there isn't a whole lot of merit behind that logic.

Only issue is that Toronto's "pitching depth" behind Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassitt and arguably José Berríos is made up of arms that neither the team or its fans can trust to reliably take the mound every fifth day.

If the season began today, some combination of Yusei Kikuchi and Mitch White would fill out the fifth starting rotation spot with Nate Pearson, Thomas Hatch and prospect Yosver Zulueta also available as options on the current 40-man roster.

Kikuchi could easily bounce back in 2023 and give the Jays the reliable fifth starter that White couldn't be last season, but he is also a possible fit for a spot in the bullpen. Will the Jays strike and steal another pitcher from the Mets?

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