While the Mets have recently been rumored to have a desire to add a starting pitcher in free agency, the most recent rumors indicate that even the best of the second tier of pitchers might not be of interest to the team. The first part of this series, which is a rundown of the remaining free agent starters by their 2017 fWAR, included Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb, the two pitchers who would make for an exciting signing. There are better ways to measure pitching performance, but again, Fangraphs makes this all easy with their custom leaderboards.
We’ve touched on Lynn and Cobb, both of whom received and declined qualifying offers after the season ended, as well as Jaime Garcia, Andrew Cashner, R.A. Dickey, and Jason Vargas. We continue from there.
Although he fared decently in 92.1 innings over 17 starts for the Marlins, Volquez underwent Tommy John surgery in August and is likely to miss a huge chunk, if not all, of the 2018 season. It’s hard to imagine the Mets bringing him on board for this year under those circumstances, and he had a pretty bad year in 2016.
A well-traveled player, Garza had a 4.94 ERA and 4.91 FIP last year for the Brewers. But he threw just 114.2 innings and had to undergo shoulder surgery this winter, which sounds like it’ll knock him out for the 2018 season and can always be tricky no matter what the planned recovery timetable is.
While he threw just 55.1 innings in the majors last year, Anderson appears at this point because of his 4.10 FIP. He had a 6.34 ERA as he split his time between the Cubs and Blue Jays. If the Mets are focused on innings, he’s probably not their guy, as he has only hit the 100-inning mark once since 2011. He did that with 180.1 innings of 3.69 ERA pitching for the Dodgers back in 2015, but things might not be that nice now.
One of the terms that’s come up around the Mets’ pitching rumors is the desire for a swingman, someone who can start or pitch out of the bullpen. Assuming experience matters, Liriano is one of the relatively few pitchers out there who’s done the job. Unfortunately, he had a 5.66 ERA and 4.64 FIP last year in his 97.0 innings of work as he made 18 starts and 20 relief appearances. He was quite a bit better in 2016, as he had a 4.69 ERA in 29 starts and two relief appearances. His most successful years are getting a bit distant now, as he had ERAs in the low-3s in 2013, 2014, and 2015. And for what it’s worth, the lefty fared better as a reliever last year, albeit in a very small sample.
Also left-handed, Miley threw 157.1 innings over 32 starts for the Orioles last year and didn’t fare well in the process. He finished the year with a 5.61 ERA and 5.27 FIP, struggling mightily with walks—at a 12.8 percent way above the league average of 8.1. He’s been good for 30 or more starts in each of the past five seasons and made 29 starts the year before that run. But he’s put up an ERA north of four in each of the past four years, with each single-season mark slightly worse than the last: 4.34, 4.46, 5.37, 5.61.