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NY Mets: Top 3 free agent starting pitchers to target ranked

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Alex Wood #57 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 3 of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Alex Wood #57 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 3 of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Mets
Mets

TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 30: Robbie Ray #38 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in the first inning of their MLB game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on September 30, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

1) Ray is coming off a career year

The best and most realistic option for the Mets this offseason would be left-hander Robbie Ray from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Ray is coming off a career season with the Blue Jays. He led the American League with 193 1/3 inning pitched, a 2.84 ERA, 284 strikeouts, and a 1.045 WHIP. Ray also led all of the majors, stranding 90.1% of his runners on base.

Ray vastly improved his numbers from the 2020 shortened season. In 2020 Ray struggled with both control and the home run ball, giving up 2.3 home runs per nine innings, while also walking 7.8 batters per nine innings.

The Jays have a couple of key players entering free agency this year along with Ray, most notably All-Star shortstop Marcus Semien and former Mets pitcher Steven Matz.

How would Ray fit with the Mets and what would his contract look like?

With Mets starting pitchers like Syndergaard, Stroman, and Hill all free agents, along with the second half struggles of Walker, Ray could easily be the Mets number two starter next season.

It is likely that the Mets bring back either Stroman or Syndergaard for next season, with a long-term deal being more likely for Stroman, while Syndergaard is more likely to return on a one-year qualifying offer.

Ray is coming off a one-year $8 million contract with the Jays. Ray is likely to command a deal slightly north of Nathan Eovaldi’s four-year $68 million deal with the Boston Red Socks.

One thing that could hurt Ray’s value is the amount of free agent starting pitchers. While some are likely to ink deals with their current teams, the list of free agents includes Scherzer, Verlander, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and Kevin Gausman.

Ray is not only one of the best options for the Mets, but also one of the most realistic considering their roster needs and cap considerations.

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