Snatching Jon Gray up from the Colorado Rockies might be the most realistic option for the Mets to land a quality starter.
Gray, who has spent his entire career in the high altitude, is in the midst of what is probably the best season of his major league career. Through 17 starts, he has a 3.68 ERA and 126 ERA+ while also on pace to post the best WHIP of his career by far, currently at a 1.215.
The biggest difference for him this season? His 7.4 hit per nine, which is far and away his best-ever mark. Before this season, he’d never even been below eight.
Across baseball, he’s in at least the 64th percentile in expected ERA, average exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, expected weighted on-base average, expected batting average, expected slugging percentage and barrel percentage.
Overall, the assessment on Gray this season has just been that he’s a solid, little bit above average starting pitcher.
He’s also set to become a free agent at the end of the season and the Rockies are all but eliminated from postseason contention, so it’s very likely he’ll be wearing a different uniform come August. The Rockies gain nothing from holding onto him, so they’ll likely try to capitalize on his value now and at least get some package of prospects back in return.
There’s no reason why the Mets shouldn’t at least try to be the team on the other end of the deal. Unlike Davies and Anderson, who the Mets would be trading for in hopes of a resurgence, Gray already has established success this season.
The downside of that is that since he’s one of the better starting pitchers likely available this deadline, the Mets might have multiple teams to compete with. Gray is good, but he’s not good enough to give up any serious prospects for. That, combined with the fact he’s a rental, should mean anyone at least in the Mets’ top-10 prospects should be off-limits.
If a good deal comes up though where the Mets don’t have to give away any even decently big prospects, then adding him to the rotation would be a huge get.