Sandy Alderson can count on three starting pitchers for next season

Michael Baron, Contributor

Sandy Alderson said he can only realistically count on Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, and Dillon Gee to be in next year’s starting rotation.

In addition, Terry Collins told reporters late last week that it is highly unlikely Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, or Rafael Montero would make the team out of camp next March.

That’s a fair assessment. In reality, no matter what Matt Harvey believes, Alderson cannot count on him pitching any part of next season. That, along with Jeremy Hefner’s absence, leaves two holes in the rotation.

I expect the Mets to sign some low-risk free agents to try out for the open rotation spots next spring. Having said that, I wonder if decent showings from Aaron Harang and Daisuke Matsuzaka might have earned them a look next spring?

Harang and Matsuzaka both expressed interest in returning next season after their final starts.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

At this point, anything is possible; and I’m sure all of the above pitchers will be discussed in trade talks, so who knows what happens…

Nevertheless, I got the sense Monday that Alderson would like to sign at least one known commodity, a veteran who can give him innings; later in the winter, he’ll go back to the Shaun Marcum/Dice-K/Harang/Chris Young-type-of-pitcher, reclamation end of the free-agent market, one or two of whom will compete with the young pitchers to round out the 2014 rotation.

Jenrry Mejia should be in this discussion somewhere, too. I wouldn’t bank on him — like Sandy is doing with Niese, Gee and Wheeler — but he could definitely contend for a rotation spot in 2014.

So, the fun part will be speculating on the “known” guy. I hope Alderson takes a look at Tim Lincecum, who says he wants to return to the Giants, but has also said he’d consider other options. The buzz in SF is that he’s leaning toward a two-year deal. It seems to me Queens is a perfect fit, because he could remain in a pitcher’s park, be celebrated if her performs and do it in a huge market, where he can keep himself in a spotlight.

Similarly, there were reports last week that Alderson could look at Bronson Arroyo, who has said he will consider the Mets. The way I understand it, he’s going to talk to the Mets, Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Orioles, Braves and other teams on the East Coast, who train in Florida. I’m told by insiders that if he’s offered a three-year deal, he’ll take it. I just don’t know, though, that Alderson is comfortable locking someone up beyond their 40th birthday…