Friday, June 21 2024

After Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a historic 12-year deal late last week, the Mets were forced to turn their attention elsewhere to fill out their starting rotation.

Among the targets New York was connected to was right-hander Lucas Giolito.

Giolito is coming off a rough season across three teams, but he certainly would’ve made a ton of sense for the Mets on a one-to-two year prove-it deal, however he ended up signing with Boston on Friday night.

The Mets had an offer on the table and were said to be among the most aggressive suitors for the 29-year-old, but now they’ll have to turn their attention elsewhere yet again.

Top arms such as lefties Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery remain on the board, but numerous reports have indicated that David Stearns and company aren’t searching in that tier this offseason.

With that in mind, here are some options remaining for the Mets to consider to fill out their rotation.

LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu

Ryu is a bit of an injury risk having topped the 25 start mark just twice during his 10-year MLB career, but when he’s on the mound he’s been one of the more reliable and effective southpaws out there.

The veteran’s posted a strong 3.27 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over his tenure.

Ryu is coming off a campaign in which he made just 11 starts in his return from Tommy John surgery, but he was relatively effective, allowing two runs or fewer in eight of those outings and posting a 3.46 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.

The 36-year-old certainly knows how to handle himself on the mound against big league hitters, it’s just a matter of if he can stay healthy or not.

Ryu is probably one of the top middle-tier arms remaining for the Mets, and he could make a ton of sense on a one or two year deal, similar to the one they gave right-hander Luis Severino earlier in free agency.

LHP Shota Imanaga

Imanaga is perhaps one of the most intriguing arms remaining on the free agent market.

The southpaw doesn’t quite possess the upside and potential that Yamamoto brings over to the States, but he certainly enjoyed his fair-share of success during his eight years in the NPB.

Imanaga is coming off a season in which he posted a 2.66 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 188 strikeouts across 24 starts with the Yokohama Bay Stars. He also got the start for Team Japan against USA in the finals of the World Baseball Classic and allowed just one run across four innings.

It’s still unknown what type of contract Imanaga will be looking for on the open market, but he certainly is the type of arm the Mets should be considering.

The 30-year-old may be seeking longer-terms than the Mets are comfortable giving out at this point making him a potential long shot, but if they can reach a deal putting him alongside Kodai Senga would be a nice boost to this rotation.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee StadiumNew York Yankees starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium

RHP Frankie Montas

Similar to Ryu, Montas is coming off an injury-plagued campaign in which he made just one appearance for the Yankees.

The right-hander simply never panned out after being shipped to the Bronx in a trade from the Oakland Athletics, as he dealt with a shoulder issue and made just nine appearance over the span of a season and a half.

Montas now enters free agency with his value at an all-time low.

The 31-year-old was once among the more notable starting pitchers in the game atop the Athletics rotation, finishing sixth in Cy Young voting in 2021 and posting a 3.90 ERA over his career.

The Yankees have also shown interest in a potential reunion with Montas as they look to fill out their rotation, but he could make sense for the Mets if he’s looking to reestablish his value on a short-term deal.

LHP Sean Manaea

At this point, the Mets are going to need to sign someone who can give them some quality innings and Manaea can certainly be that guy.

Manaea’s coming off a strong season with the San Francisco Giants. He struggled early on, allowing nearly half his runs over the first month of the season, but after May he pitched to a strong 3.40 ERA in 90 innings of work.

The left-hander did see his walks increase a bit but he was terrific at liming hard contact and keeping the ball in the yard (1.1 HR/9).

Manaea was used as a full-time starting pitcher up until last season, but the Giants decided to use him in more of a swingman role, and he made just 10 starts over a total of 37 appearances.

If the Mets do decide to implement a six man rotation, allowing Kodai Senga to get extra rest, Manaea offers the versatility to bounce back and forth between the bullpen and rotation when needed.

RHP Michael Lorenzen

Lorenzen spent the majority of his career as a reliever before transitioning to the starting rotation in 2022 with the Los Angeles Angels.

The right-hander joined the Tigers last season and he performed well enough to earn his first career All-Star appearance before being shipped off to Philadelphia at the trade deadline.

Lorenzen threw a 124 pitch no hitter in just his second appearance in a Phillies uniform, but he struggled after that and found himself relegated to the bullpen over the final stretch of the season and mop-up duty during the playoffs.

Overall, he pitched to a 4.18 ERA and 1.20 WHIP across a career-high 153 innings of work.

Lorenzen is still just 31 years old, and having pitched out of the bullpen for the majority of his career, he doesn’t have much mileage on that hard-throwing right arm of his.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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