Mets GM Sandy Alderson said starting pitching is not one of New York's major priorities heading into the MLB Winter Meetings despite the fact their rotation had the 27th-ranked ERA as a team last year.
"I'd say that, as it stands right now, [starting pitching] would probably be fourth on a list of three," Alderson told reporters on Sunday, indicating the team is instead focusing on bolstering the bullpen, adding a bat to the lineup and solidifying its situation at first base and in the outfield.
Mets starters went 49-64 last season with a 5.14 ERA, which was the second-worst among all National League teams. They combined to throw the fourth-fewest innings among all 30 teams.
Only Jacob deGrom and Robert Gsellman made more than 20 starts for New York last season. Noah Syndergaard was limited to just seven starts after a significant lat injury, while Matt Harvey and Steven Matz made just 18 and 13 starts, respectively.
The Mets relied upon Zack Wheeler to make 17 starts after missing the previous two seasons due to Tommy John surgery, while Seth Lugo and Rafael Montero each made 18 starts.
"The key for us is the health of our starting pitching," Alderson said. "We can't afford to lose 1-2 right out of the gate, can't lose Lugo right out of spring training, can't lose somebody else right after that."
While deGrom went 15-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 31 starts, no one else on the Mets threw more than 120 innings, including their relief appearances.