David Stearns He will have a lot on his plate as he fixes the Mets this offseason, but his toughest job may be rebuilding the starting rotation.
Following the trade Justin Verlander And Max ScherzerThe Mets have just two members of the 2023 rotation that should be featured prominently in 2023 — Kodai Senga And Jose Quintana.
In Senga, they have the top of the rotation pot and someone who can plant in the middle in Quintana, but they need to add another rotation arm and at least one center or pot that can insert in the back of the rotation.
If New York gets three pots, they will have it David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Jose Bhutto, Mike Vasiland others as important depth.
If the Mets only add two pitchers, perhaps one of the aforementioned arms will round out the round as No. 5.
Either way, these five names should be on Stearns’ wish list…
You won’t get it. Blake Snell Or Aaron Nola On this list because I simply don’t think they come close to providing enough value for their contracts entering their 31st year.
Snell’s main concerns are his inability to pitch deep into games and the fact that he has only pitched more than 130 innings twice in his eight-year career.
The main issue with Nola is that he’s been mediocre two of the last three seasons, but could be billed as an ACE.
No such concerns with Yamamoto.
The 25-year-old has 1.82 career perfect power over his seven seasons in Japan, a 1.16 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over 176 strikeouts in 171 innings over 24 starts over the past two years, allowing just two homers in the process.
Scouts view Yamamoto as a better pitcher than Senga, and when you combine that with his age and the lack of true impact pitchers on the free agent market, the bid for him could be hefty and could top $200 million.
The Mets should keep him as their No. 1 free agent target, and fend off the Giants, Dodgers, Yankees and other teams to get him.
Beyond Yamamoto, Snell and Nola, the most sought-after pitcher on the free agent market may be Montgomery.
The left-hander found another gear this summer after being traded from the Cardinals to the Rangers, and his overall numbers were very strong.
In 32 regular season starts, Montgomery had a 3.20 ERA (3.56 FIP) and 1.19 WHIP with 166 strikeouts in 188.2 innings.
He also had two impressive starts in the ALCS for Texas, but was hit in the ALDS and World Series.
Montgomery is not tied to an eligibility offer, which is a huge positive. But he also probably could have gotten a lot more in terms of both years and dollars, a pitcher with a 3.68 career ERA who doesn’t miss a ton of at-bats on the wrong side of 30.
If the contract eventually makes sense, someone who has averaged just under 175 innings pitched each of the past three seasons and has some serious upside is a solid option for a Mets rotation in need of stability.
If the Mets go the trade route, it might make more sense to make Burns their top target there.
No, the Mets don’t have to empty their burgeoning farm system for Burns or the next pitcher on this list, but they don’t need to.
Will it take something serious to keep Burns away from the Brewers? for sure. But with just one year left to hit free agency, the haul won’t be huge.
The big question here is whether the Brewers will snag him.
It can be argued that it is with Brandon Woodruff It will probably be out and about for 2024. Willie Adams Set for free agency after an offseason in which Milwaukee needs to retool. But will they?
Glasnow’s name wasn’t front and center like Burns’ on possible trade candidates.
Part of that is because he’s pitching in relative obscurity against the Rays, and part of that is because he missed the entire 2022 season and the first two months of 2023 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
When Glasnow returned, he had a career-normal fastball velocity (96.4 mph average), continued to strike out batters at a high rate (12.2 per nine) and had mostly elite advanced numbers.
Since coming into his own in 2019, the 25-year-old Glasnow has posted a 3.03 ERA (2.89 FIP) and 1.01 WHIP with 462 strikeouts (12.5 in nine) over 332.2 innings.
One issue was Glasnow’s availability, but with a rebuilt UCL, his injury problems are probably in the past. And with Glasnow set for free agency after the 2024 season and the cost-effective Rays unable to extend him, he could soon be on the move.
A star in Japan, lefty Imanaga will post this season. And he could be the strongest fit in the Mets rotation.
And he may be a better investment than your loved one. Sonny Gray or as a rehabilitation project Luis Severino.
Imanaga, 30, is coming off an outstanding season for Yokohama, opening with a 2.77 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 159 innings..
Imanaga’s walk rate was also minimal — a career-best 1.4 per nine innings.
In eight seasons in Japan for NPB, Imanaga has a 3.18 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with an average of 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.5 walks..