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NY Mets: Options to replace New York’s big free agents in 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets in action against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 28, 2021 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Marlins 5-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets in action against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 28, 2021 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Marlins 5-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Sep 28, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning of game two of a doubleheader at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Both Noah Syndergaard or Marcus Stroman’s futures with the Mets are uncertain, but there are plenty of replacements available.

Regarding the futures of both Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman as members of the New York Mets going forwards, there are several factors to consider, namely, their past productivity, potential, age and injury history.

Starting off with Noah, he has one of the most naturally gifted arms in the MLB, sitting amongst the league leaders in terms of fastball velocity along with very good “off-speed” pitches. Syndergaard has been a fixture in the Mets rotation since he debut for the team in 2015, but the past 2 years have been very rough for him.

Prior to the 2020 season, Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss the 2020 season and the vast majority of the 2021 season due to his rehab and recovery. He managed to make 2 starts to end the year, going one inning a piece in both of them, compiling a 9.00 ERA over 2 innings.

These stats are merely a small sample size that don’t show Syndergaard’s effectiveness as a pitcher over his career prior to his injury. Still, not everyone performs the same after Tommy John surgery, which could very well make the Mets hesitant to sign Noah long term on the gamble he returns to his old form.

As for Marcus Stroman, after sitting out the 2020 season, he returned to the Mets on a one-year deal and had a career year for himself. Starting 33 games for New York, Stroman pitched a grand total of 179.0 innings while posting a 3.02 ERA.

That ERA was a career-best for Stroman, and the Mets would certainly love to have him back in the rotation next year, especially considering their recent pitching woes, however, there are a few concerns with him. Firstly, he averaged only 5.1 innings per start in 2021, which is far from an All-Star level average.

Despite that, he is coming off the best season of his career statistically and could demand a lot of money on the open market, and while the Mets need good players if they hope to make the post-season, they need to be careful to not overspend, especially on players who to this point have been considered “average.”

Given the Mets’ current depth at starting pitcher, the Mets will definitely need to dip into free agency if they are unable to retain either Syndergaard or Stroman.

There are several big names on the market the Mets could pursue who would likely perform more consistently than those two for the money they would command, such as Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, or Corey Kluber. They could also look into signing a steady hand like Rich Hill or Wade Miley at a more reasonable rate as well.

In an ideal world, the Mets would be able to retain Syndergaard on a short one year deal as he attempts a full season in the majors before signing a longer contract, and sign Stroman to a 3-4 year contract at a reasonable rate, but that is all easier said than done, and the Mets need to be prepared to move on without them in 2022 should they wish to move on from use.

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