1 Mets free agent target making more sense for the team

A bounce back candidate who eats innings would match what the Mets are doing.

Sep 4, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Lucas Giolito (27) reacts
Sep 4, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Lucas Giolito (27) reacts / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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Along with Yoshinobu Yamamoto who feels like a must for the New York Mets, taking a shot at Lucas Giolito seems to make sense for the team. He always did. More than ever before, Giolito fits the mold of what the Mets are trying to do.

About to enter his ninth MLB season, Giolito won’t turn 30 until mid-2024. He hit free agency after his second consecutive season with an ERA approaching 5.00. As ugly as it may look, he has been mostly healthy for six straight seasons and an absolute gobbler of innings.

Giolito has already led the league in earned runs and walks in the past and last year gave up a league-high 41 home runs. Among them, 21 came in his final 12 starts; 6 each with the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Guardians. If the Mets are looking for a similar player as Luis Severino available, Giolito is the guy with a slightly different contract approach.

Lucas Giolito feels more like a match for the Mets and hopefully with a team option for 2025

Giolito has been a tough pitcher to explain. His lifetime 4.43 ERA doesn’t touch upon how good he was from 2019-2021. Giolito received Cy Young consideration in each of those seasons. He’s an even rarer pitcher in today’s world with the number of innings he can consume. Despite all of the troubles last year and swapping of uniforms, Giolito managed to log a career-high 184.1 frames.

The ability to eat innings is something the Mets could benefit from in a major way. The grotesque possibility of having a bullpen made up of mostly bounce back candidates does need an arm like Giolito to get them through the season.

Despite the bad overall numbers last season, Giolito was quite good for the Chicago White Sox. He was 6-6 with a 3.79 ERA in his 21 starts there. His home run rate was nothing alarming at 1.5 per 9 innings.

In a win-at-all-costs scenario for the Mets, Giolito feels underwhelming. However, with the team now banking on players like Severino and even Jorge Lopez in the bullpen, Giolito appears to be a pricier option to round out the rotation and maybe return to form.

If the Mets did sign him, he’d be worth a team option for 2025. A guaranteed second year for him would be a dangerous choice for the Mets, but not completely unreasonable when we consider they’ll have room both on the roster and payroll. Maybe for you know whats and giggles the Mets defer his contract for a decade and get Giolito for minimum wage next season.

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