5) NY Mets free agent targets to pursue: Carlos Rodon
Carlos Rodon is a guy who was nothing more than a back-end starter in his first six seasons in the bigs. He was a lefty with good stuff but never stayed on the field and wasn't very productive with the White Sox.
In 2021 everything changed for Rodon. He still missed some time on the sidelines but he went 13-5 with a 2.37 ERA in 24 starts. He struck out an absurd 12.6 batters per nine and finished in the top five in the AL Cy Young balloting.
Rodon had some health concerns which impacted his market in free agency. This caused him to sign a two-year $44 million dollar deal with the second year being a player option. After Rodon backed up his 2021 with an even better 2022 campaign, he is expected to decline his option and pursue the massive deal he evidently should have gotten last season.
Rodon went 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 31 starts for the Giants this season. His 12.0 K/9 led the league as did his 2.25 FIP. Rodon will probably finish in the top five in the Cy Young balloting once again.
Rodon cracking the 30-start mark is huge heading into free agency. If Jacob deGrom leaves, the 29-year-old Rodon wouldn't be a bad replacement. He's younger and seems to be only getting better. He will almost certainly have a much cheaper AAV as well which helps the Mets sign other playrs.