14) Mets Best Starting Pitcher – Bret Saberhagen
Bret Saberhagen won a pair of Cy Young Awards before he joined the Mets. When he arrived in New York, his best days were behind him.
Even so, Saberhagen managed to put together some quality numbers during his tenure with the ball club. If not for injuries, they would have looked much better.
Saberhagen wasn’t an elite pitcher for the Mets, but he was certainly a very good one. In each of his four and a half seasons with the team, he finished with an ERA of 3.50 or lower. Unfortunately, each of those seasons included a stay on the DL or a shortened season.
In 1994, Saberhagen was on his way to having a brilliant year with the Mets. The Player’s Strike limited him to 24 starts which featured a 14-4 record and 2.74 ERA.
The following year, with the strike cutting out a portion of the early schedule, Saberhagen had even fewer chances to shine with the Mets. He was traded mid-year to the Colorado Rockies thus ending his often forgotten time with the team in Queens.
Although he’s only 19th in WAR for pitchers—including all relievers—it’s Saberhagen’s 3.16 ERA that has me move him ahead of Thor on this list. That’s the 12th best by any Mets pitcher in franchise history.
The Mets didn’t get an excellent pitcher for many years when they acquired Saberhagen. They did, however, get a steady and reliable starter. Because he was on several horrendously bad teams, I think many overlooked how excellent he was at times.