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NY Mets: Four early starting pitcher trade targets for the 2020 season

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JULY 25: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws against the Texas Rangers in the second inning at Globe Life Field on July 25, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JULY 25: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws against the Texas Rangers in the second inning at Globe Life Field on July 25, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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LAKELAND, FL – FEBRUARY 13: Matthew Boyd #48 of the Detroit Tigers looks on during Spring Training workouts at the TigerTown Facility on February 13, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Matthew Boyd

The ace of the Detroit Tigers staff drew lots of interest from lots of teams during the 2019 season, and for good reason. The Tigers were the worst team in baseball last year and aren’t looking much better for this season or anytime soon. Matthew Boyd is a very solid starter and has team control through the 2022 season. He is absolutely someone the Mets should look into as the only starter they have under control through the 2021 season is deGrom.

Boyd would be a very solid middle of the rotation arm for the Mets. In 2019 he went 9-12 with a 4.56 ERA. Those numbers don’t seem so special. However, the reason Boyd has drawn so much interest is because of his peripherals.

Boyd struck out 238 batters in 185.1 innings last year. The 238 strikeouts were tied for tenth in all of baseball.  Boyd also had a 4.76 strikeout to walk rate which was also the tenth best in all of baseball. His real downfall has been the number of home runs given up. Boyd allowed 39 home runs which was the second-highest in all of baseball.

Since Boyd puts guys away and doesn’t walk many, it appears that if he can keep the ball in the ballpark just a little bit better, his numbers would improve drastically. He’d be a great pitcher for the Mets to add but he would likely cost more than anyone else on this list.

Jon Gray

Like the Tigers, the Colorado Rockies also don’t seem to be a contender in the near future. Yes, they have great bats in Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon, and many others.

Their issue has always been pitching and since they don’t have many great options in that department, the Rockies will likely be sellers in 2020. One of the guys they might be looking to move is Jon Gray.

Following the 2021 season, Gray will be a free agent so the Rockies might look to capitalize on his value before he becomes just a rental. While pitching in the worst place for a pitcher to pitch, Gray has put up some solid seasons.

Last year, Gray went 11-8 with a 3.84 ERA in 25 starts. He threw 150 innings and struck out 150 so he averaged 9 strikeouts per nine innings which is very solid. The most impressive stat to me was his 1.1 home runs per nine innings. That number was the same as Jack Flaherty who finished fourth in the Cy Young voting last year and the same as Patrick Corbin who is considered to be a very good starting pitcher.

Gray has always had the stuff to succeed he just hasn’t stayed healthy as he’s only made over 30 starts once in a season. This seems like a guy the Mets can buy low on and hope he stays healthy for this year and next.

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