Luis Severino

Luis Severino Credit: Getty Images/Rich Storry

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For the past couple of years, the Mets tried the two-ace approach.

This season, they’re going with the no-ace approach.

Historically and recently featuring iconic pitching names, the Mets’ rotation this year doesn’t nearly compare. Just two starters from last season are back: Kodai Senga, their No. 1 pitcher (if not quite a bona fide ace yet) and Jose Quintana, the Opening Day starter as a replacement for Senga, who will miss at least April because of a right shoulder strain.

Filling out the starting five are three offseason additions: Luis Severino, Sean Manaea and Adrian Houser.

In Severino, the Mets think they have a potential front-of-the-rotation righthander, as he was early in his Yankees days. But he hasn’t been both available and effective for a full season since 2018, so now he is trying to revive his career. He agreed to a one-year, $13 million deal in late November.

“We targeted him immediately as one of the better free-agent pitchers available,” president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “There’s a physical element of this that we often underappreciate. It is so important for guys to be healthy to perform at their optimal level. The demands of a major-league season mean that a lot of these guys go out and post when they’re not completely healthy. Our goal with Sevy from the moment we signed him was to get him to a point where he could come into camp in a good spot and we could continue to build that momentum.”

Manaea signed a two-year, $28 million deal — the Mets’ largest outlay all offseason — and can opt out after this year. He spent most of last season in the Giants’ bullpen but showed flashes of improvement in September, so the Mets made a bet that that was real.

Houser, acquired in a trade with the Brewers, is in his last year of team contractual control. He had a 4.12 ERA, in line with his career mark.

Four rotation members can reach free agency after this season. That means the Mets will be looking for their depth options to emerge as answers for 2025 and beyond. Tylor Megill, David Peterson (out until at least June), Jose Butto and Joey Lucchesi are in the next group. The following wave includes Christian Scott, Mike Vasil and Dom Hamel.

“We’re pretty happy,” Stearns said, “with how our rotation has come together.”

Grade: B-

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