3 free agent pitchers the Mets should avoid if they miss on Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The Mets will need to sign starting pitchers if they miss out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but should not pursue these three.

Aug 4, 2021; Yokohama, Japan; Team Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (17) throws a pitch against
Aug 4, 2021; Yokohama, Japan; Team Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (17) throws a pitch against / Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
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2) James Paxton

When healthy, James Paxton is a really solid mid-rotation arm. From 2014-2019, he had a 3.57 ERA averaging 21 starts per season. The problem with Paxton and the reason the Mets should not sign him is that he's on the IL more often than he's actually on the field.

This past season was Paxton's healthiest since 2019, as he made 19 starts with the Red Sox, posting a 4.50 ERA in 96 innings of work. He had combined to make just six total starts from 2020-2022, including none in 2022. He got off to an excellent start to his season, putting up a 2.73 ERA in his first 10 starts, but really faltered to the finish line before right knee inflammation ended his season prematurely in early September.

The one big move the Mets have made this offseason was bringing in Luis Severino on a one-year deal. This Mets are taking a big risk on Severino hoping he can be somewhat healthy and productive. Making the exact same bet with Paxton and having 40% of the rotation made up of giant question marks just won't end well.

The 35-year-old makes for an intriguing signing for many teams, but with the oft-injured Severino already here and the Mets having questionable depth when it comes to starting pitchers, they should steer clear of another giant risk.