The New York Mets are one of baseball's biggest disappointments this season, sputtering along in the NL East and barely staying afloat in the wild-card race.
So it's a distinct possibility the Mets will be quasi-sellers at the trade deadline this year, which begs the question: Should the Cleveland Guardians consider bringing back Carlos Carrasco for the stretch run?
It makes sense for a lot of reasons. First of all, Carrasco enjoyed a long, extremely productive career in Cleveland. Over his 11 seasons with the team, Carrasco sported a 3.77 ERA, winning 88 games, and notching 1,305 strikeouts to the tune of a 114 ERA+.
That being said, the 36-year-old is having a rough go of it in 2023, nursing a 5.35 ERA in 13 starts, striking out just 48 in 65 2/3 innings and navigating a variety of injuries over the past couple years, one of the most recent being right elbow inflammation earlier this season.
So if the Guardians were interested in bringing Carrasco home, it wouldn't necessarily be to acquire a game-changing starter. It would likely be a move born out of necessity, as Carrasco is a veteran, already quite familiar with the organization, who could eat up some innings as the team tries to navigate the workloads of its numerous young starters.
It's a role that would seemingly be perfect for Cal Quantrill, but he was just placed on the 15-day IL at the beginning of July with right shoulder inflammation, and who knows if and when he even comes back this season. And if you think Carrasco's season has gone poorly, Quantrill's has been even worse, as he has a 6.45 ERA in 13 starts.
For what it's worth, though, Carrasco has been pitching better as of late. Over his past four starts, he has a 3.32 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. Nobody is saying this would be a move that would set the AL Central on fire, but there are some intriguing reasons for making it happen.
Carrasco is a free agent after this season as well, and if he decides to retire, what better place to finish out his career than Cleveland? It's a feel-good story that fulfills an actual need for the Guardians down the stretch, essentially a no-risk move that wouldn't force Cleveland to part ways with any prospects of much near-term value.
Why not, right?