With an injury-riddled season behind them, the Mets could see all five starters back in the rotation for 2017. That includes 28-year-old right-hander Jacob deGrom, who told the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan that he hasn’t had pain in his elbow after recovering from ulnar nerve surgery last September.
Prior to missing the last month of the 2016 season with elbow issues, deGrom pitched to a 3.04 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9 over 148 innings. The right-hander has been working his way back to the mound over the offseason and started throwing to Mets’ backstop Travis d'Arnaud last week.
Getting all five of the Mets’ star pitchers — deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler — to the mound in the same season will still take some effort, however. Harvey underwent a procedure to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome last July, while Matz had a bone spur removed from his left elbow in September.
Both pitchers appear on track to pitch during spring training, with Wheeler as a potential outlier as he continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery in 2015. The 26-year-old is treating this offseason as a normal one, per Newsday’s Anthony Rieber, but is expected to shoulder a lighter load with the team in 2017. He could ease back into a major league role by switching to long relief, but said that he would prefer to remain a starter if possible.
Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that the Brewers have put together a trade offer for Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich. He describes the club’s interest in Yelich as “strong,” and notes that other teams remain in the mix.
Yelich’s relationship with the Marlins was recently described by his agent as “irretrievably broken” following the trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon. His agent said Yelich “needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win.” Understandably, teams have been calling the Marlins asking about him.
The 26-year-old hit .282/.369/.439 with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances last season. He’s in the fourth year of a seven-year, $49.57 million contract of which $44.5 million remains. Given how slow the free agent market has been this offseason, it’s difficult to say exactly what he would get if he were to hit the open market, but it is safe to say that his current contract is very much a bargain for his team, which only makes him even more attractive to inquiring teams.
The Brewers are an interesting team to get involved in the Yelich sweepstakes. Their outfield already has three capable players in Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, and Keon Broxton. Yelich would still be an upgrade, but the Brewers’ resources may be better spent in other areas like the starting rotation.
Given Yelich’s displeasure and Jeter’s insistence on stripping the Marlins bare — including, potentially, the iconic home run sculpture — it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see a trade happen.