9 and 8) NY Mets trade targets Adrian Houser/Eric Lauer
Let’s call this one a tie. The pair of Milwaukee Brewers starting pitchers who may or may not be on the trade block could be their key to finding some offensive help. The Brewers were a very pitching heavy team in 2021 without the bats to back it up. Trading away their number four or five starter for an upgrade to the starting lineup would be smart. Guys like J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil, and Dominic Smith could all find a regular role on their team.
Adrian Houser pitches next season at age 29. Last year was really his first full season as a starter, going 10-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 142.1 innings of work. There are three years of control left on him, making this righty an early buy for the Mets to consider having around for a few more years. One big concern might be that he didn’t post high strikeout totals last season (6.6 per nine) and walks were a problem (4 per nine). This can get dangerous very quickly.
Eric Lauer won’t turn 27 until the summer and he has a bigger resume to look at. But just like Houser, last year was his coming out party. He was 7-5 with a 3.19 ERA in 118.2 innings of work, mostly as a starter. A lefty, he averaged 8.9 strikeouts per nine which may not be dominant but it’s much better than what his teammate, Houser, was able to accomplish.
Lauer kind of reminds me of Joey Lucchesi in that he was once a young stud with the San Diego Padres, eventually traded away. If the Mets happen to have an interest in getting another arm like this, especially with so much uncertainty with Lucchesi’s health coming back from Tommy John Surgery who knows when, Lauer is an arm to inquire about.