New York is off to a hot start, with the club's starting rotation having success through the first few weeks of the season. The Mets have been seeking a way to get Rafael Montero slotted into the starting rotation, and according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, the club is still looking to trade starter Dillon Gee.
If the Mets are able to complete a deal, the expectation is Montero would take his starting spot. Martino notes Montero's demotion on Friday was considered "surprising," even by people within the organization, and that the Gee/Montero battle for a roster spot did not end when spring training concluded.
Beginning at the end of the month, the Mets will temporarily use a six-man rotation. Montero will get the start on April 28 when the Mets face the Marlins, but after that outing the futures of the starters are unclear. New York can continue to utilize six starters, and if Gee continues to have success, the Mets will have a decision to make. But if he struggles, Montero would be the Mets' fifth starter, giving the Mets an opportunity to trade him.
Around the NL East
Throughout the offseason, the Mets sought to deal Gee and his $5.3 million 2015 salary, however the club was unable to do so. New York has experience with making an April deal after failing to trade a player in the winter, as Ike Davis was not dealt to Pittsburgh until the middle of the first month of the season.
Even though the Mets also have Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard as pitching prospects who could be major league ready this season, the Mets will likely still give Montero the opportunity. Montero has been challenged pitching out of the bullpen, but could find consistent command of his pitches if he is slotted into the starting rotation.
Gee struggled against the Braves and allowed a Giancarlo Stanton home run in his last start. He is fighting to keep his job, but the Mets may be forced to act quickly since the club feels it can compete for a National League East title.
After a solid 2013 campaign, Gee posted a 4.00 ERA and 4.52 FIP in 137.1 innings pitched last season. He is under team control through 2016, and has pitched to a career 3.91 ERA in 639.2 innings with New York.