The Mets’ hopes for the backbone of their team next season to be starting pitching suffered a crushing blow when Matt Harvey was lost following Tommy John surgery.

If they are going to have any chance of staying relevant in 2014, the Mets will almost certainly have to lure someone like Bronson Arroyo to help the rotation.

While the Mets have not contacted Arroyo yet, that should change.

“Bronson is an East Coast guy and would definitely consider the Mets,” Arroyo’s agent, Terry Bross, said. “But we’re going to take our time with this.”

The Mets appear willing to do the same and may have little choice.

Needing considerable help in the outfield, they figure to at least get in touch with Scott Boras, who represents two of the top outfielders at the end of their contracts in Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo, both of whom could prove to be too expensive.

Shortstop is another area of need, but they clearly want to add rotational depth to help Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee.

Arroyo will turn 37 in February, but has logged at least 199 innings each season since 2005. In September, he told The Post, “I definitely think the Mets are a team that I would look at.”
He rebounded from an awful 2011 season by pitching to under a 4.00 ERA in each of the past two seasons with the Reds in hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. In four career starts at Citi Field, he is 3-0 with a 2.32 ERA.

Arroyo has said he is looking for at least a two-year deal and that would likely cost around $30 million.