Recent New York Mets rumors have given hope that the team may indeed go after free agent Gio Gonzalez. They need to make this happen fast.
The New York Mets missed out on the chance to capitalize from a slow market to sign Wade Miley, who agreed to a one-year $4.5 million deal Thursday with the Houston Astros. With Miley off the table, the Mets need to turn their attention towards Gio Gonzalez to help add starting pitching depth. Thankfully, recent Mets rumors have suggested they will do just that.
According to Mike Puma of the NY Post, the Mets are indeed interested in Gonzalez.
While Gonzalez struggled last season with the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers, he’s still drawing significant interest from a few teams. One thing to keep in mind as to why Gonzalez could be a good fit for the Mets is the fact that he’s dominated in his career at Citi Field.
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In 17 career games there, Gonzalez is 11-2 with a 1.75 ERA. However, his great numbers there may have more to do with the Mets’ offense over the past seven seasons than his pitching ability.
One reason Gonzalez may still be unsigned could be because he’s looking for a multi-year MLB deal. The Mets may not be willing to offer him a major league deal due to the fact they already have a set rotation, and Jason Vargas pitched much better over the second half of the 2018 season, posting a 3.81 ERA. over that stretch.
While Gonzalez would be a great fit for the Mets on a minor league deal, he’s currently the second-best pitcher available on the free agent market, behind only Dallas Keuchel. Unless general manager Brodie Van Wagenen surprises the fan base again by signing Keuchel, Gonzalez should be their man at this point.
Considering that Miley signed for less than $5 million after a strong season, Gonzalez should certainly be within the Mets’ (cheap) price range. While Miley made just 16 starts in an injury-riddled season with the Brewers, he was their best pitcher when healthy, posting a 2.57 ERA.
Gonzalez was able to start 32 games in 2018 between the Nationals and Brewers and he put together a less-impressive 4.21 ERA. Still, he presents a low-risk, high-reward option for whatever team that signs him. In 2017 Gonzalez went 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA.
The fact of the matter is that Gonzalez is no more of a wild card than Vargas. However, Gonzalez has a higher ceiling. It wouldn’t hurt the Mets to offer him a one-year major league deal in the $3-5 million range.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen has emphasized adding depth to the Mets this offseason, he has yet to do so in regards to starting pitching. Seth Lugo has proven himself as a capable swingman, but the bullpen becomes much weaker if he were to start. Corey Oswalt was competent as a spot starter, but he still needs to show consistency.
Few Mets rumors have suggested there is much interest in adding a starting pitcher. Many fans are still holding out some hope that they upgrade the rotation.
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Gonzalez could add depth to the rotation, and possibly even act as a replacement for Vargas if he gets off to a bad start again. While signing Gonzalez may appear as a minor move by the Mets, it could pay huge dividends.