Top 10 Mets trade targets when the lockout ends

Sep 18, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) reacts after
Sep 18, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) reacts after / Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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Sep 26, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (30) throws a / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

9. Mets trade target Tyler Mahle

I believe the biggest need this Mets team has right now is pitching. Last season, the Mets were in first place for over 100 consecutive days while having an offense that couldn't score runs all season. The Mets consistently scored three runs or fewer but were winning games because of pitching.

Taijuan Walker was an all-star out of nowhere. Marcus Stroman was the most consistent pitcher on the Mets roster delivering consistent quality outings. Jacob deGrom was Jacob deGrom. The Mets collapsed when their starting pitching collapsed. deGrom didn't pitch, Carlos Carrasco was ineffective, and Walker went from an all-star to one of the worst pitchers in baseball.

The Mets need an arm to round out the rotation by providing quality innings. I believe Tyler Mahle would do a great job in that role. The 27 year old finally got a full season in the Reds rotation and pitched extremely well. He went 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA in 33 starts. For a team that seems to be plagued by injuries a lot, Mahle's durability is desperately needed.

Mahle struck out 210 batters in 180 innings pitched, a 10.5 K/9. In his nine starts last season, Mahle struck out 11.3 batters per nine. The ability to strike hitters out is extremely valuable and Mahle seems to have that down. He's struck out 9.6/9 in his career, a very good number. For reference, Jacob deGrom is at 10.7/9, so Mahle is not far behind the best pitcher in the game in that stat.

The one red flag with Mahle is he just doesn't have much experience pitching a full season at the big league level. He made 25 starts in 2019, but was ineffective as he posted a 5.14 ERA that season.

There is a bit of risk with Mahle, but I'm confident that his stuff is so good so he will be fine, especially as a fourth or fifth starter. Mahle is projected to make $5.5 million dollars this season and has one more year of arbitration before entering free agency after the 2023 season. With the Reds looking to sell, Mahle should be a name the Mets are connected with.