2) James Paxton
Another interesting name that is currently still on the free agent market is left-hander James Paxton. Paxton had a mixed bag of results with the Boston Red Sox last season. In the first half of the season, he had pitched to a 2.73 ERA, and that number dropped off completely in the second half of the year as he largely struggled to a 6.98 ERA.
While the splits are unsightly, it was Paxton's first full-season pitching after undergoing Tommy John surgery back in 2021, in which some of those struggles could be attributed to potential exhaustion. With the state of the current Mets rotation, it would be a worthwhile gamble to take a shot on Paxton to see if those first half-numbers can translate over an entire campaign with a full-year removed from Tommy John surgery under his belt.
I wouldn't anticipate it taking more than a two-year deal to sign Paxton this winter, especially with many teams wondering how his arm will potentially hold up over the course of a full season. While it would be tough to rely on Paxton as a front-line starter, bringing him into the fold and monitoring his innings next year could do wonders for the Mets in terms of unlocking his full potential.