Mets Scouting Frankie Montas, Tyler Mahle
The Mets have recently had scouts watching Athletics right-hander Frankie Montas and Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reports. With the aggressive Mets clearly focused on a championship this year, it isn’t surprising that the club is already looking ahead to possible trade candidates on struggling teams.
Montas is over 18 months older than Mahle, but the two have quite a bit in common. The two righties are under control through the 2023 season via a third and final arbitration year, both have already been mentioned in trade speculation for months, and both have already made it through an offseason of payroll cuts by their respective teams. In fact, the Mets and A’s already combined on a big pitching deal during the offseason when Chris Bassitt was brought to Queens.
Thus far in 2022, Montas has clearly been the better of the two pitchers in terms of bottom-line numbers, with a 3.67 ERA in 49 innings to Mahle’s 5.23 ERA over 43 innings. The advanced metrics also generally favor Montas, though Mahle’s 4.28 xFIP and 4.15 SIERA paint a bit more of an optimistic view of his 2022 performance, and Mahle appears to be on the upswing with a 2.60 ERA over his last 17 1/3 frames.
It stands to reason that the Mets will probably at least monitor just about every available arm heading into the August 2 deadline, considering that Montas and Mahle figure to get attention from most or all pitching-needy clubs. Oakland or Cincinnati probably have some idea of what some suitors are already willing to give up for either pitcher, based on offseason talks — the White Sox, Twins, Yankees, Tigers, Mariners, Rays, and Royals all reportedly had interest in Montas over the winter, while the Blue Jays and Rangers were linked to Mahle.
Despite a number of rotation injuries this season, the Mets have gotten quality work from just about every starter who has taken the mound. However, health remains a concern, as Max Scherzer will miss 6-8 weeks with an oblique strain, Tylor Megill is on the IL with biceps inflammation, and Jacob deGrom has yet to throw a pitch this season due to a stress reaction his throwing shoulder. Jumping to swing a deal with the Reds or A’s now would cost the Mets a heavier price in prospects, and it could be that New York will wait until closer to the deadline to make a move, as the Mets already have a sizeable cushion of a lead in the NL East race.