The New York Mets are rumored to be looking at Gio Gonzalez to help shore up the back end of their rotation, a new report claims.
Andy Martino of SNY reported on Twitter that the Mets were sending a scout to Buffalo, where Gonzalez was pitching in Triple-A. The former Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers starter had signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees but was expected to be exercising the opt-out clause in his contract, allowing him to become a free agent.
“With Domingo Germán and CC Sabathia fortifying the Yankees’ rotation, there is increasing sense Gio Gonzalez plans on opting out of his deal tomorrow, sources tell ESPN. The Yankees would have 48 hours to add him to their roster, and if they don’t, he’ll become a free agent,” ESPN reporter Jeff Passan noted on Twitter.
The Mets had already shown interest in the left-handed starter in the offseason, but SNY reported that Gonzalez was holding out for something greater than a one-year deal.
The 33-year-old Gonzalez had a 4.21 ERA in 32 starts last season with the Nationals and Brewers, and would likely be an upgrade over the back of the Mets rotation. New York’s fifth starter, Jason Vargas, has struggled this season with a 9.58 ERA. Vargas recorded only one out in an 11-7 loss to the Atlanta Braves last week, but rebounded on Friday when he gave up three hits and three walks against the St. Louis Cardinals, giving up only one earned run. But Vargas still only managed four innings in the appearance, and the Mets have relied heavily on their bullpen in his starts.
The Mets could be in even more need of starting pitching after a surprise trip to the IL for ace Jacob deGrom.
The team placed him on their injured list on Friday after reporting that his right elbow was “barking” after he played catch on his off day Thursday. He will undergo an MRI on Monday.
“We’re not sure exactly what it is, so we wanted to get it checked out,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said, via the New York Post. “Just a little tender in the elbow. We don’t know if it’s from general fatigue, so we’re just being overly cautious at this point and making sure we take care of him. We got 90 percent of the season left and we feel no reason to really push him too much at this point. There’s just no reason to do it.”