The New York Mets’ strength for the first quarter of the 2022 MLB season might quickly become their weakness. Two-fifths of the team’s starting rotation was recently added to the injured list, forcing the Mets to consider making a trade for pitching.

Max Scherzer is expected to miss six to eight weeks with an oblique injury. Tylor Megill is on the IL with biceps tendinitis. Jacob deGrom hasn’t pitched all season, and the Mets’ ace is probably out until at least July with a shoulder injury.

New York has a seven-game lead atop the NL East. That edge could shrink if the Mets’ backend starters can’t make up for the production of their injured pitchers.

According to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman, the Mets have scouted Oakland Athletics starter Frankie Montas and Cincinnati Reds starter Tyler Mahle. New York is also expected to take a closer look at Red pitcher Luis Castillo.

Montas has been in trade rumors since the offseason. The right-hander is expected to be moved by the Aug. 2 trade deadline. The Athletics traded away most of their top players before Opening Day, including Chris Bassitt in a deal to the Mets. Maybe the two sides can come to an agreement for another trade involving an Oakland pitcher.

In eight starts for the Athletics, Montas has a 3.67 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 49.0 innings. Oakland is in last place in the AL West.

The Reds are at the bottom of the overall MLB standings as the only team that’s won fewer than 30% of their games. After letting Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez go in the offseason, Cincinnati is likely headed for a full rebuild.

Mahle has struggled in 2022 with just two quality starts in nine tries, but he posted a 3.72 ERA from 2020-2021. Castillo has a 3.74 ERA in 125 career starts.

The Mets aren’t expected to make a trade right away. More potential trade partners should emerge as the season moves along and teams accept that they won’t be playoff contenders.

If the starters on New York’s roster continue to thrive and Scherzer returns healthy, the organization might decide to stand pat. Bassitt has been almost as good as Scherzer with a 2.77 ERA. David Peterson has entered the rotation with a 1.89 ERA in 19.0 innings.

New York has a 3.35 team ERA, good for third in the NL.

Max Scherzer New York Mets
Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets in action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on May 18, 2022 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 11-4. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)