Despite Dillon Gee winning the fifth starter job out of Spring Training, the Mets are still entertaining their options for not only his spot in the rotation, but his roster spot in general.
On Friday, Terry Collins said the Mets demoted RHP Rafael Montero to the minor leagues to not only balance the roster better in the short-term, but to reinsert him back into the starting rotation with the intent of promoting him for a start on April 28 in Miami.
For now, Montero is being called a sixth starter during the next turn in the rotation, but the Mets are unlikely to proceed with a sixth starter beyond that point, although they have not said what the next step will be.
Now, that could mean one of two things for Gee.
If Gee doesn’t pitch well in his next two or three starts, he could go to the bullpen and be replaced by Montero.
Or, as Andy Martino reported in today’s Daily News, perhaps the team will work out a trade for Gee in the near-term.
“The Mets remain hopeful of finding a trade match for Gee and his $5.3 million salary, which they were unable to do last winter,” Martino explains.
Of course, if the Mets are truly intent on moving Gee, he presumably needs to pitch well anyway during this time to attract potential suitors.
Whether the Mets can or cannot trade Gee, Martino says eventually the Mets intend to replace Gee in the rotation. Montero will get the first rotation audition ahead of Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz if a need ultimately arises.
Unfortunately for Gee, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Eventually, the Mets need to make room for one of their young starters, and considering Gee’s already been considered for the bullpen, it never seemed like he had a stable job in the rotation. Of course, as it’s been discussed before, if Gee is here and in the bullpen, there’s no evidence to suggest he can thrive there either. He had a difficult time adjusting to a bullpen role before Zack Wheeler went down with the injury.
His situation has been weird and awkward for Gee from the moment he parked his car at Tradition Field two months ago. He’s gone in and out of the bullpen, his ability has been questioned as a reliever, he’s constantly being asked about trade rumors. It just doesn’t end for him. Yet, he’s acted so professionally throughout the process, and that’s commendable.
Ultimately, the uncertainty and the lack of trust has to be frustrating for Gee, and despite how he’s handled this publicly, I could understand if it’s weighing on him. As such, in the end, the Mets might get the most out of him if they ultimately find a new home for him, which is sad for me to say.
Gee is off to a sluggish start this season. He’s 0-1 with a 7.59 ERA in 10 2/3 innings over two starts, having allowed 13 hits – three of which are home runs – and nine runs.