When a player enters his walk year, that's often when we see him play at his best. The incentive to work even harder than you had the rest of your career is there in order to get a big contract in free agency. Look at the year someone like former New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman is having. This happens every year.
While it's certainly in players' best interest to perform in a walk year, that doesn't always happen. Remember how brutal Michael Conforto was right before his free agent year?
The Mets have been an absolute disaster as a team. They're 43-50, an unfathomable 18.5 games back of first place Atlanta, and 8.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot. These three upcoming free agents aren't to blame for the team's struggles, but they're certainly not helping themselves out with underwhelming seasons that have undoubtedly lowered their stocks.
1) NY Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco is watching his free agent stock plummet
The Mets had a club option on Carlos Carrasco worth $14 million which they picked up. This felt like an obvious move at the time as Cookie had a decent year in 2022 and seemed like a safe bet to be a decent fifth starter. The expectations weren't high, but he has still not come close to meeting them.
Carrasco has a 5.16 ERA through 12 starts. He's struck out just 43 batters in 61 innings while walking 27. He's also allowed 12 home runs after allowing just 17 in 152 innings last season. His strikeout rate has gone from an above average 23.6% to a well below average 16.2% this season. His walk rate has jumped from 6.4% to 10.2%, and his home run rate has almost doubled from 2.6% to 4.5%.
Any way you slice it, this hasn't been a good year for the Mets veteran starter. He's continued to struggle in first innings putting his team in trouble early, and he's only recorded an out in the sixth inning three times in his 12 starts.
At 36 years old he'll find a one-year deal if he wants one, but he won't be making close to the amount he's making right now with the Mets.