The Mets are in need of a starting pitcher (or two) for 2014. It’s likely that one slot will be filled from within or held temporarily by a low-cost signing until one of Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard are deemed ready. The other slot, according to general manager Sandy Alderson, will be a legitimate free agent signing – preferably someone with a bit of upside who can be counted on for 200 innings.
While hosting a chat today on Fangraphs.com, writer Dan Szymborski dropped a name that hadn’t yet been linked to the Mets. That name? Ricky Nolasco. Here’s what Szymborski had to say when asked who has been linked to Nolasco:
The Mets have been linked with him a bit…I’ve heard it from a couple people.
Nolasco, who will turn 31 in December, is a pending free agent. He made $11.5 million last year.
Last month, MLB Trade Rumors predicted that Nolasco would net a three year deal worth $36 million.
After posting ERA’s in the mid-4′s from 2010 to 2012, Nolasco had a 3.70 ERA in 2013 to go along with a 1.21 WHIP. In 199.1 innings pitched, he allowed 195 hits, walked 46, and struck out 165. For his career, Nolasco has a 4.37 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.
Nolasco isn’t a star, but he’d likely be a solid addition to any staff.
What he lacks in upside, he partially makes up for with his durability. Since his first full season (2008), Nolasco has eclipsed 185 innings pitched every year but 2010 (when he tossed 157.2 innings).
If the Mets don’t plan to deal any of the pitchers who are slotted into the big league rotation this off-season, making a play for Nolasco makes little sense – it would be smarter to sign a pitcher who will command just one or two years.