Brodie Van Wagenen said Thursday at the Winter Meetings that the Mets have "probably the deepest starting pitching rotation in baseball," noting that the added depth after signing Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha gives the team lots of "flexibility" when it comes to how they prepare for 2020.
As things currently stand, the Mets have Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Porcello, and Wacha as rotation options.
They also have the ability to use Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman in the rotation, with Van Wagenen saying the Mets are "staring at eight potential starting pitchers."
But Lugo and Gsellman will almost certainly be in the bullpen, Van Wagenen suggested, adding that "nothing has changed" regarding his stance that Syndergaard is staying, while saying that he views Matz as a starting pitcher.
So it seems something will have to give, whether it's a trade or one of their six current starting pitchers moving to the bullpen.
"If all are healthy then we have more decisions to make that hopefully will be a high class problem," Van Wagenen explained. "But at this point we're going in with six bonafide starters -- the ability to have seventh and eighth starters with Lugo and Gsellman. ... We're walking in with depth and upside and we can't speculate in terms of what the mix of who the give are if all are healthy until we get there and assess what the characteristics are."
Asked who the odd man out would be if everyone was healthy, Van Wagenen wouldn't speculate, simply saying that it would allow them to "use 13 pitchers on our staff with high-end talent."
Much like his comments about potentially not adding a bullpen arm, it's possible that Van Wagenen is simply speaking in general terms in order to not telegraph his next move.
It seems far more likely that the Mets will trade a starting pitcher between now and the regular season (or trade a reliever and shift a starter to the bullpen) than it does that the Mets will go into spring training with deGrom, Syndergaard, Stroman, Matz, Porcello, and Wacha all preparing to start. But time will tell.