2) Lucas Giolito
The Mets missing out on Yamamoto does not mean they need to overpay and sign Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery to massive nine-figure deals for the next half-decade or longer. Snell and Montgomery aren't bad, obviously, but the Mets can do better with the kind of money they'll garner. Additionally in Snell's case, the fact that he has the qualifying offer attached should be a non-starter.
While Snell and Montgomery should be afterthoughts, the Mets do still need another starter. The options aren't great, but Lucas Giolito makes sense for the Mets for a couple of reasons.
Let's get this out of the way. He was bad in 2023. A 4.88 ERA in 33 starts is not what anyone wants, and a 6.96 ERA down the stretch with the Angels and Guardians is even worse. Still, Giolito did have a 3.73 ERA with the White Sox before being traded and has a track record of being a solid arm.
Giolito's ceiling is right around where Montgomery's is if not higher. From 2019-2021 he had a 3.43 ERA in 72 starts, finishing with three straight top-11 Cy Young finishes. 2021 was only a couple of years ago. It's not impossible for him to regain that form.
Even at his worst, Giolito is a guy who takes the ball every fifth day and eats innings. This past season he had 184.1 innings of work which would've led the Mets by 18 frames. He's made at least 29 starts with at least 160 innings of work in each of the last five full seasons (excluding the shortened 2020 season).
Giolito would not require the same commitment as Snell or Montgomery. Snell and Montgomery would both require lengthy long-term deals worth in excess of $150 million. Giolito on the other hand might require a two or three-year deal worth roughly $20 million annually. That's a major difference. Bring him in to eat innings. Anything additional he can provide would just be gravy.