The Mets $130 Million Rotation Has Actually Cost The Team Wins

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It’s hard to spend money less efficiently than the New York Mets.

The Mets invested heavily during the 2022-2023 offseason to improve all facets of the roster. But the team’s rotation received an inordinate amount of attention, especially with the departure of superstar starter Jacob deGrom.

Justin Verlander signed a 2-year, $86 million deal to replace deGrom and pair with Max Scherzer at the top of the rotation. But both have struggled with injuries.


Kodai Senga also signed for big money, 5-years and $75 million, to make the jump from Japan.

Carlos Carrasco was a holdover, finishing out a 5-year contract paying $14 million per year.

Jose Quintana also parlayed a solid 2022 season into a 2-year deal, paying an average of $13 million per year.

All together, the Mets expected five man rotation is making close to $130 million.

And despite all that money, according to Fangraphs WAR, they’ve actually hurt the team.

Mets Lean Into Max Scherzer's Sweat And Rosin Controversy With T-Shirts
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – MARCH 18, 2023: Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets looks on during the fifth inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 18, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Rays Thriving on Pennies While Mets Struggle

Just Verlander and Scherzer alone are making $86 million this year.

The entire Tampa Bay Rays 20-man pitching staff is making $22 million. Combined.

The Rays staff has contributed over five wins above replacement, per Fangraphs. Verlander and Scherzer, meanwhile, have combined for negative WAR.

Adding in Carrasco, Quintana and Senga doesn’t help much either.

Quintana’s been hurt all season, Carrasco made three terrible starts before heading to the injured list, and Senga’s been remarkably disappointing.

For the $29 million the Mets have spent on those two pitchers, more than the entire Rays staff, Carrasco and Senga have contributed…-0.2 WAR. Oof.


Given those stats, the team’s disappointing 18-19 start is a lot less surprising.

There’s plenty of time for Scherzer and Verlander to turn their seasons around. Carrasco and Senga also have track records of success that indicate better performance is coming.

But it does highlight the uncertainty of high dollar value investments in MLB.

Especially when those investments are made in pitchers.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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  1. They didn’t spend on offense, all the new bats are from the minors. Verlander had a great game yesterday, maybe they did pay a lot but season is still early, and I wouldn’t worry so much about ‘pseudo’ stats, the rays always spend less than everyone they just got out to a superb start this year, I’m sure they make the dodgers rotation seem overrated as well, not exactly the thriftiest of teams.

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