Mets aim to add at least 1 starting pitcher

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Sandy Alderson has three starting pitchers he can lock into the rotation -- Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee. But with Matt Harvey due to miss 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Alderson acknowledged he would like to add at least one external starting pitcher.

That would avoid the Mets potentially having to use two prospects from the beginning of the season, from a group that likely would include Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero.

"I don't think we're totally comfortable with what we have in the organization," Alderson said. "We've got a lot of quality. We even have some depth. But to replace two spots in the rotation with the kids coming out of our system, I think, is a little much to expect coming out of spring training. It's conceivable we could have two in the rotation by the middle of the year, or by the end of the season certainly. I think putting that kind of pressure on the system coming out of the gate is something we'd like to avoid. It might be necessary, but I think we'd like to find someone."

Asked if one of the prospects could be in the Opening Day rotation, the GM added: "It's possible."

As for the caliber of pitcher he is looking to add, Alderson was nonspecific about whether he would bring in someone of the Daisuke Matsuzaka/Aaron Harang ilk or aim higher.

"Let's wait and see," the GM said.

As for the bullpen, Alderson said he ideally would like to bring in an eighth-inning-type arm to help Bobby Parnell.

"The bullpen is important," Alderson said. "The bullpen needs to improve. I think most of that improvement is going to come through the development of our young, good arms in the system. Would we like to have somebody more established that could pitch with Parnell in the eighth and ninth innings? I think yeah. All things being equal we'd like that."

Alderson said he was not looking for someone to supplant Parnell as closer, though.

"No, no," he said. "Someone to pitch late in the game."