Luis Severino will try to do what these 3 former greats couldn't do with the Mets

Will Luis Severino join this list?

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A lot of teams, the New York Mets included, attempt to recycle, grab someone off the scrap heap, catch lightning in a bottle, see if there is anything left in the tank…however you want to explain it away. Taking a chance on some once-great pitchers…even some Cy Young Award winners…would seem like a no brainer.

Take Luis Severino. And the Mets have. He was hailed as the ace of the New York Yankees not too long ago. His breakout season was 2017 when he started 31 games and went 14-7 with a 2.98 ERA, striking out 230 batters in 193 innings. He was named an All-Star for the first time. He followed that up with 32 starts in 2018 and was still dominant, striking out 220 hitters in 191 innings, while winning 19 decisions. He again was an American League All-Star.

But something went wrong early in 2019 and Severino was diagnosed with multiple injuries that kept him out of action almost all of that season, and then it was revealed that he required Tommy John surgery, shutting him down for the entire 2020 season as well.

He returned to action but has repeatedly struggled with various muscle strains and the Yanks finally let him go. And now, he is the next low risk-high reward project the Mets have taken on.

Unfortunately for the Mets, way too many of them were not what was advertised in the brochure. Here are three of those reclamation projects that simply did not work out the way the Mets had hoped.

Southpaw Randy Jones was done by the time he came to the New York Mets

San Diego Padres lefthander Randy Jones won only eight games and led the National League with 22 losses in 1974. He turned things around and discovered himself the following season, and won 20 games against 12 losses while leading the NL with a 2.24 ERA.

He finished second to Tom Seaver in the Cy Young Award voting, as Tom Terrific captured his second award with a league-leading 22 wins and 243 strikeouts. Then in 1976, Jones duplicated Seaver’s 22 wins, against 14 losses, a 2.74 ERA and 93 strikeouts in a league-leading 315 innings pitched, to win his first Cy Young Award.

Most Mets fans will maintain that Jones should not have won the award as it was Seaver’s sidekick Jerry Koosman who had the better record at 21-10, 2.69 ERA, and 200 strikeouts, finishing second to Jones in the voting.

Following that campaign, Jones had four consecutive losing seasons with high ERA’s for bad Padres teams. He had thrown those 315 innings in that 1976 season, starting 40, yes FORTY, games and completing 25 of them. Unfathomable in today’s times. He had arm troubles but he never threw hard, he was the typical “soft-tossing lefty” that was fairly typical of the era.

So when the Padres finally gave up on him following the 1980 season, the Mets jumped on it and brought him in a very cheap price, hoping he would recapture his form.

Jones would go 1-8 with a 4.85, 14 strikeouts and 38 walks over 12 starts that saw him throw 59 innings in the strike-shortened 1981 season. And, no, the strikeouts and walks are NOT backwards. That was what he actually did, and very rarely got past the 5th inning.

He gave it another gallant effort in 1982, starting 20 games and throwing 104 innings (some of those in relief) and, again, not getting past the 5th inning in most of his starts. He did win more games (7) but he also lost more (10). And he lowered his ERA to a miniscule 4.60. And he continued his trend of walking (51) more hitters than he fanned (44).

It didn’t work out with Jones and he was out of baseball at the age of 32.