With the Mets having signed three position players on Friday, the team has reportedly been focused on pitching as the offseason approaches an almost-certain freeze in the form of a lockout just a few days from now.
Kevin Gausman, who was mentioned in the first part of this series, seems to be the hottest commodity on the free agent market at the moment. But let’s continue running down the list of free agent starting pitchers who could help the Mets, whether they end up signing Gausman or not. The fWAR numbers listed below are from the 2021 season, and you can find the second part of the series here.
Alex Wood (2.5 fWAR): Wood has been around the big leagues since 2013, having made his debut with Atlanta that year. Since then, he’s also played for the Dodgers, Reds, Dodgers again, and Giants. Having put up pretty brutal numbers in 2019 and 2020, Wood bounced back nicely for the Giants this year on a one-year deal. He finished the season with a 3.83 ERA and 3.48 FIP in 138.2 innings over the course of 26 starts. Durability has never really been Wood’s thing, but that innings total was his highest since 2018. The 30-year-old lefty carries plenty of risk, but maybe the Mets saw something in his 2021 season that would make him an appealing option.
Alex Cobb (2.5 fWAR): Now 34 years old, Cobb spent the 2021 season with the Angels, having spent all of his major league career before this year with the Rays and Orioles. He only threw 93.1 innings over 18 starts because of injury this year, but he did finish the year with a 3.76 ERA and 2.92 FIP. Like Wood, durability is a concern, and his innings total this year was his highest since 2018.
Jon Gray (2.3 fWAR): For years, Gray has put together stretches with impressive numbers, especially for a pitcher stuck playing his home games at altitude in Colorado. By season’s end, though, those numbers tend to not look quite as impressive. This year, Gray finished with a 4.59 ERA and 4.22 FIP, and in seven seasons with the Rockies, Gray has finished with a sub-4.00 ERA just twice. There’s definitely some appeal to getting the 30-year-old out of Colorado, though, and seeing what he’d look like at sea level. For what it’s worth, Gray has had a higher ERA on the road than he has at home over the course of his major league career.
Tyler Anderson (2.1 fWAR): If the Mets had acted differently at the trade deadline this year, Anderson might have become a familiar face. In hindsight, he almost definitely wouldn’t have saved their season, but the former Rockies starter was a reliable back-end starter for the Pirates before the deadline and the Mariners after it. He had a 4.53 ERA in total in 2021, which isn’t all that great, but he threw 167.0 innings and only got truly shelled in three of his starts. By no means should he be a headlining part of a rotation, but if the Mets are looking to shore up their fifth rotation spot, he could work.