Instead of acquiring one of the big-ticket items of the offseason, AKA Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, the Mets have used their allocation of offseason spending to fix as many holes as possible on the roster.
They have done this well by addressing the bullpen, catcher, and overall team depth. The only remaining item that Brodie Van Wagenen could add is a starting pitcher to compete for the fifth rotation spot against Jason Vargas. I decided to pick five intriguing options still available on the free agent market the Mets should consider and why.
Gio González has been a name Mets fans have been familiar with since his trade from the Athletics to the Nationals, where he pitched from 2012 – 2018. Gonzalez, age 33, started 32 games with the Nationals in 2018 going 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA in 171 innings. Fan’s will be quick to point out Gonzalez’s success in Citi Field, where he is 11-2 with a 1.75 ERA in his career, but if González were to sign with the Mets, he wouldn’t be facing Mets batters. Opposed to other NL East teams, González has success against the Marlins (10-4 2.42 ERA), and Phillies (11-7 2.95 ERA) in his career, but has struggled against Atlanta (6-11 4.84 ERA). Although he did have success against them in 2018, with a 2.57 ERA in two games. Interestingly, González has started 60 games with newly acquired catcher Wilson Ramos to a sub 4 ERA. With González’s track record and familiarity with the N.L. East, he would be a solid 5th starter with the Mets highly touted rotation.
Steamer’s Projected Stats: 5-6 W/ 4.39 ERA
The often injured Buchholz had a resurgence last year with Arizona, where he went 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA providing a 3.0 WAR. Buchholz wouldn’t be eliminating an “if” that Brodie Van Wagenen set to eliminate, as he has never started 30 games in a season, but his season last year was intriguing enough to consider nonetheless. Last year, opposing teams BABIP was below league average at .255 compared to the leagues .290 avg. Throughout his career, Buchholz has shown the ability to keep the ball in the ballpark, keeping the ball on the ground. The 34-year-old Buchholz is the highest risk out of these pitchers, but also has the highest ceiling
Steamers Projected Stats: 5-6 W/ 4.97 ERA
Tomlin is an intriguing candidate, as he had Mickey Callaway as a pitching coach for five years in Cleveland. Tomlin had three quality seasons from 2014-2017 where he went 30-20 with a mid-4 ERA. Last year, without Callaway, Tomlin struggled to a 2-5 record with a 6.14 ERA in 70.1 innings. He dealt with a right hamstring injury and also was demoted to the bullpen. Could a reunion with Mickey Callaway bring the 34-year-old Tomlin back to being an effective starter in the big leagues? The Mets may find out.
Steamer’s Projected Stats: 9-11 w/ 4.73
Let’s be honest, Wade Miley isn’t the most exciting name on this list, but he has been a consistent middle of the rotation option for five teams in his seven-year career. The Mets have such a talented 1-4 in the rotation that the fifth option just needs to give the team a chance to win, which Jason Vargas had the inability to provide last year. Miley, a 1.2 WAR pitcher last year, went 5-2 with a 2.57 era in 16 games started for the Brewers where his BABIP was his lowest a .265. Miley could serve well in the fifth spot with having half of his starts in a pitching friendly Citi Field.
Steamer’s Projected Stats: 7-8 W/ 4.36 ERA
The man, the myth, the legend, Bartolo Colon. The ageless wonder, and cult-fan favorite, Colon is still seeking to latch onto a team to pitch for the 22nd season. Colon’s 2018 face value stats aren’t pretty with the Rangers, going 7-12 with a 5.78 ERA. The 45-year-old still produced a .5 WAR, logging 147.1 innings. Compared to Jason Vargas, Colon had a better BABIP, WHIP, and Walks Per Nine. Colon isn’t the best option on this list and my least preferred, but he does bring an entertainment factor that most of these pitchers lack.
Steamer’s Projected Stats: 5-6 W/ 5.02 ERA
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