3 pitchers New York Mets can sign without breaking the bank

After moving on from two future Hall of Fame pitchers last season, the New York Mets must find a way to replace their production. However, their financial situation makes this a more challenging task.

San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox
San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
1 of 3

Last season, the New York Mets had the highest payroll in the MLB by a wide margin yet finished 12 games below .500 and missed the playoffs entirely. Buyer’s remorse leading up to the trade deadline caused the Mets to trade two future Hall of Famers in a span of a few days, sending Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers and Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros.

After signing Verlander last offseason, his time as a member of the Mets lasted just 16 starts. Given how much money the Mets invested into the team last year and how badly the 2023 season floundered, the team is unlikely to make a big splash for another starting pitcher this offseason despite needing to replace the production of two three-time Cy Young Award winners.

Not to mention, the starting pitcher market is quite lucrative this offseason, as exemplified by the contracts of Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and Aaron Nola.

However, that does not mean the Mets will ignore addressing their starting pitcher woes entirely. There are still plenty of viable second-tier pitchers available via free agency that could provide valuable depth and help bolster the Mets’ rotation. 

3. Mets should sign trusted veteran Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun Jin Ryu’s time as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays was plagued by injury. The former All-Star and ERA leader started more than 12 games in only one campaign for the Blue Jays since signing a four-year, $80 million contract in 2019. However, when he is physically able to take the mound he has shown he is still capable of providing a reliable veteran presence in a pitching rotation. 

Throughout his 10-year career, Ryu has logged 14 wins in four different seasons. He has also shown he can be an innings eater, pitching at least 125 innings in five of his 10 seasons in the MLB. In 2019 and 2020, Ryu finished in the top three of the National League Cy Young Award voting, illustrating that he is not too far removed from the peak of his career.

Heading into his age-37 season, Ryu may not be the ace he once was but he can certainly help the Mets to some degree while also not costing them too much money.