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Mets: Five best December free agent signings in franchise history

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Bartolo Colon #40 of the New York Mets leaves the game in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves during their game at Citi Field on September 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Bartolo Colon #40 of the New York Mets leaves the game in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves during their game at Citi Field on September 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Tom Glavine of the New York Mets pitching during regular season MLB game against Baltimore Orioles, played at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York on Sunday, June 18, 2006. The Mets defeated the Orioles 9-4 during interleague play. (Photo by Bryan Yablonsky/Getty Images)

3) Tom Glavine

Next up we have an eventual Hall of Famer in Tom Glavine. Glavine was leaving the division rival Atlanta Braves for the first time in his career when he decided to join the Mets.

Glavine was coming off an All-Star season at age 36 with an impressive 2.96 ERA. Although Galvine was going to be entering his age 37 season, there was not too much concern as he had proven to one of the most durable players in the league starting at least 25 games a year every season outside of his rookie year.

On December 5th, 2002, Glavine signed a 4-year $42.5M deal. This came out to $11M for the first year, $10.765M for the second and third year, and $9.993M for the fourth and final year. He ended up singing back for one more year on December 6th, 2006 for $7.5M.

Despite starting 32 games and pitching over 180 innings in his first season, Glavine got off to a bit of a slow start. His first season consisted of 4.52 ERA, a 1.47 WHIP, 10.1 H/9, 4.0 K/9, and a 9-14 record which were all season worsts since his first or second year in the league which was 15 years prior.

Glavine did bounce back in the following four seasons as he combined for 2 All-Star selections, 52 wins, an ERA at 3.82 or lower in 3 out of the 4 seasons, and 200+ innings in 3 out of the 4 seasons. In his last year with the Mets, he also collected his 300th career win becoming the 23rd pitcher ever to reach that mark and only the fifth ever left-hander. In his five seasons with the Mets, he combined for a 15.3 WAR.

In the lone year the Mets made the postseason during Glavine’s time with the team, he did not disappoint. In the NLDS he tossed 6 shutout innnigs and earned the win in the one game he started. In the NLCS he tossed 11 innings while only allowing 3 earned runs to a 2.45 ERA while receiving a win and a loss.

Although some fans may always remember Glavine for one start during the 2007 season (sorry for the flashbacks), there was much more to his time in Flushing. Glavine was able to bring a veteran presence as a future Hall of Famer, consistently and depth to the rotation, while also being an effective arm with his two All-Star selections. With all that Glavine brought to the Mets, his 5-year and $50M total was one of the best contracts the Mets signed in December.

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