2006. The last time that the New York Mets were playing postseason baseball.
The following seasons have been a learning experience for the Mets, and they know as well as anyone that pitching is a key to success.
The Mets entered this season as a popular pick to finish in dead last in the NL East, but they have pleasantly surprised people with their 27-21 start.
They are off to a great start early, sitting in second place and playing much better baseball than anyone anticipated, but can they keep it up?
They have gotten by with a 4.33 team ERA so far this season, and it doesn't take a baseball analyst to figure out that such a high ERA won't cut it.
The New York Mets are in need of pitching help, and here are five guys they must pursue if they want any chance of returning to the World Series.
Chien Ming-Wang may not be the most sexy name out there in terms of pitchers potentially available, but he could definitely be worth taking a shot on if you're the Mets.
The former Cy Young runner up has not pitched a full season since 2007, but he is looking to make a comeback and could be an interesting addition to the Mets' rotation.
Wang was recently activated from the disabled list by the Washington Nationals, and though they haven't deemed him available, he can likely be acquired for the right price.
Wang could potentially fill that merry-go-round fifth position in the Mets' starting rotation while giving them some experience that their young rotation could use.
If Wang can show any signs that he is the pitcher he once was, he is worth taking a look at.
Joe Saunders is another name that may not pop off the screen, but he is certainly a guy that the Mets could use in their rotation.
The former Los Angeles Angel and current Arizona Diamondback has posted consistent numbers throughout his career, and that is something the Mets could desperately use—consistency.
Saunders was recently signed to a one-year deal and will likely see his name thrown around in trade rumors as the season progresses.
Don't be surprised if you see the Mets attached to some of those rumors.
It is no secret that the Mets are in need of bullpen help, and Brandon Lyon could be a name that could turn things around for them.
Lyon struggled miserably last season with the Astros but has been off to a great start this season.
The Mets' bullpen has been frustrating fans all season, never consistent and making everyone sweat down till the last second.
Lyon could provide the Mets with a steady arm that Terry Collins could look to for assurance in the last innings.
The pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers has had a very solid career in the Big Show so far.
Unfortunately for Marcum, the Brewers are likely going to look to keep pitcher Zack Greinke, which will not be cheap.
This could leave Marcum with the short end of the stick, either settling for less money or taking his services elsewhere.
Marcum has posted an ERA under 4.00 the past three seasons, and the Mets could certainly use a guy like him in their rotation.
Marcum could be a solid No. 2 starter for the Mets, giving them a solid right-handed pitcher to follow up Johan Santana.
A good word to describe the 35-year-old pitcher for the Chicago Cubs is solid.
Dempster has been the most reliable and consistent pitcher in Chicago for the past nine years, but he may see that relationship end soon.
The Cubs are looking to keep their rotation young by going after Matt Garza long-term, and Dempster may be the guy to pay the price.
Dempster could be a huge asset to the New York Mets: a consistent and experienced arm that has seen the postseason.
Acquiring Ryan Dempster could be a huge move for the Mets, beefing up their rotation without breaking the bank.