5) John Means
The rumors surrounding the Mets and John Means date back to 2020, when the Mets reached out to ask about Means’s availability. Nothing ever materialized as the Orioles were more intent on holding onto the southpaw and after his breakout first half in 2021, there might be more of an incentive for the Orioles to build around Means.
However, Means is arbitration eligible after the 2022 season and Baltimore, who hasn’t spent major money in a long time, may not want to pay arbitration money for three years if they’re not in a position to compete in the AL East.
Means broke out in a big way in 2021, albeit injuries plagued him during the second half of the season. In the first half of the season, Means registered a 2.28 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 71 innings, which was also accompanied by a minuscule WHIP of 0.83. Although Means’s ERA more than double in the second half, he showed signs of promise and being in a pitcher’s park like Citi Field would only benefit his numbers.
While not a major issue, it is worth mentioning that the Mets’ rotation doesn’t feature an above-average left-hander in it. The Mets acquired Rich Hill right before the trade deadline, but relying on someone over 40 isn’t ideal. Joey Luchessi pitched well, but had his season cut short by injury and sophomore David Peterson had fans holding their breath every time he took the bump. Outside of the that, the rotation currently features all right-handed pitchers.
For a fairly young, controllable pitcher, the asking price may be a bit high, but if the Mets want to sure up their rotation in 2022, while adding a much needed left-handed starter, pushing to get Means would be a huge addition for both the short and long term.