The Mets are trying to add a starting pitcher and they might do so in a trade. The Mets have had trade talks with the Reds about Mahle (per Michael Mayer) and have done a background check on Luke Weaver (Andy Martino). This comes soon after the news that Carlos Rodon has signed with the Giants and Kershaw returned to the Dodgers.
Mahle is the bigger name of the two, after back to back very good seasons in Cincinnati. The 27 year old righty had a tremendous year pitching to a 4.9 WAR without missing any starts. He went 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA over 180 innings pitched. Worth noting is that Mahle pitched in a extremely hitters friendly ballpark half of the time and his splits show that.
Mahle main improvement is his K’s per nine over the last two. With a increased Whiff rate, he has thrived. Between 2020 and 2021, he had pitched to a 3.72 ERA/3.82FIP, 1.21WHIP with a 10.7 K per nine rate. It’s shown in his Baseball Savant page, that the righty has found his success.
Mahle has ditched his curve and now works with 3 pitches. He has a 4 seamer (-10 Run Value), Splitter (-4 Run Value) and Slider (plus 1 Run Value). Early in his MLB Career he also used a change up and cutter, but those pitches didn’t have success. Since he ditched some pitches, he has gotten better. A solid formula for Mahle.
Mahle would definitely cost prospects to get. With him having a couple of great years and some control left (Free agent in 2024), he will be costly. However, sliding that type of arm in the rotation behind deGrom and Scherzer, will make the Mets rotation one of the best in the game.
Luke Weaver is another arm the Mets have reportedly being linked too. Weaver is more of a back end arm, that gives the Mets depth and innings. The former Cardinal, has been with the Diamondbacks in recent years.
The 2014 first round pick pitched to a 4.25 ERA over 13 starts with the Diamondbacks in 2021, pitching 65.2 innings. The 28 year righty missed starts due to a shoulder strain in 2021, but returned in September with 5 starts.
Like Mahle, Weaver has two years of control left, which make the trade more costly. However, Weaver won’t cost nearly as much as Mahle.
Weaver isn’t a strikeout guy and allows some hard hit contact, however his WHIP in 2021 was just 1.18, mainly because of his low walk rate.
Over his career Weaver owns a 4.64 ERA with a 4.06 FIP. His Baseball Savant page isn’t pretty, but he isn’t a top rotation arm and won’t be as costly as mentioned before.
It depends on which route the Mets will go and how much they want to give up. Obviously Mahle is the bigger name but Weaver provides much needed depth. In my opinion a strong number three is a must, so would definitely prefer Mahle over Weaver. Either way, it will be interesting what the Mets will do to fill out their rotation the next days.
Photo Credit: MLB trade Rumors on Twitter