The New York Mets just added some strong pitching depth. Joey Lucchesi joins the squad, and will likely battle Steven Matz for the fifth starter job.
In a Monday night flurry, the New York Mets struck a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres. According to multiple reports The Padres land Joe Musgrove, the Mets are getting Joey Lucchesi, and the Pirates add to their farm system landing five prospects.
MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reports that the Mets are sending Endy Rodriguez to the Pirates as part of the deal.
— Jonathan Mayo (@JonathanMayo) January 18, 2021
In Lucchesi, the Mets are getting a depth starter. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Mets view Lucchesi as a depth starter or a potential swingman in their bullpen.
Mets view LHP Joey Lucchesi as a depth starter, possible swing man between rotation and bullpen. Mets’ front five currently is deGrom, Carrasco, Stroman, Peterson and Matz, with Lugo likely in bullpen.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 19, 2021
This likely means that Lucchesi is going to battle Steven Matz for the fifth starter job. Even if he loses, the Mets get a depth starter who can dominate lefties out of their bullpen.
Lucchesi is just 27 years old and has team control through 2024. He was a decent back of the rotation starter in both 2018 and 2019. During those two years, Lucchesi had a 4.14 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 9.3 K/9, and 3.0 BB/9. Not stellar numbers, but decent fourth or fifth starter numbers.
However, he fell apart in 2020. He was only asked to make two starts and one relief appearance before his season came to an end. The Padres were unhappy with Lucchesi performance and decided to send him back to their training site so they could get a better lock at their younger pitchers.
In return, the Pirates are getting Endy Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the Mets 14th rated prospect by MLB.com. A 2018 international free agent signing, Rodriguez is an athletic catcher/outfielder. His best tool is his defense behind the plate. As a hitter, Rodriguez is hit over power, and is generally considered to have an advanced approach for a player his age.