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Mets will target starting pitching if Harvey misses '14

Mets will target starting pitching if Harvey misses '14

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ATLANTA -- Matt Harvey's elbow injury will play a significant role in how the Mets allocate their resources this winter, general manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday.

Speaking on WFAN radio, Alderson indicated that the Mets will more aggressively pursue starting pitching this offseason, now that Harvey is likely to miss all of 2014 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

"We've got some money to spend," Alderson told WFAN. "I wasn't planning on spending it on starting pitching because of the depth that we have, but given the fact that we may have lost our No. 1 guy means we're going to have to look for an additional veteran presence in the rotation. We have to accept it, absorb it and try to move on to be better."

Among those headlining a relatively deep pool of free-agent starters are Matt Garza, A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo, Phil Hughes and Tim Lincecum. Though all of them may command the type of multiyear contracts Alderson has been loath to offer over his first three winters as GM, the Mets figure to have more money budgeted for free agents than they have in years.

With Johan Santana, Jason Bay and Frank Francisco officially coming off the books, the Mets will enter the offseason with significant commitments to only two players: David Wright ($20 million) and Jon Niese ($5 million). That should free up plenty of money to sign a starting pitcher, even while Alderson pursues lineup help.

As things currently stand, the Mets are set to enter next season with a rotation of Niese, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee and two question marks. Jenrry Mejia will likely compete for a role in Spring Training, while Mets Top 20 Prospects Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom could also force their way into that conversation.

That all assumes, of course, that Harvey undergoes Tommy John surgery in the coming weeks; he has not yet committed to that course of action, and the Mets have not revealed when the follow-up examination on his elbow will occur. But if Harvey does have the operation, he will need the entire 2014 season to recover.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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