4) NY Mets free agent targets to pursue: Justin Verlander
After making just one start in the past two seasons, it was very reasonable to think that we had seen the last of the very elite Justin Verlander. I still expected him to be a solid starter, but I don't think even the most optimistic Astros fan could have expected what Verlander was in 2022.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner will likely win a third after going 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA in 28 starts. He led the league in wins, ERA, WHIP, and ERA+.
Verlander arguably had his best season including his MVP year. A 1.75 ERA is unfathomable, especially at age 39 coming off of Tommy John.
Verlander's age is the reason why he isn't higher on this list. If the Mets were to sign this right-hander it's very likely that he'd regress. I can't name many elite 40-year-old starters.
Verlander's track record is too good for the Mets to not strongly consider this signing. If Jacob deGrom leaves, Verlander would be a great co-ace to Max Scherzer.
He has loads of postseason experience and can help young Mets starters like David Peterson and Tylor Megill develop into better pitchers.
I think Verlander is the best starting pitcher the Mets can sign not named Jacob deGrom.