The New York Mets made an addition to their starting pitching on Wednesday as they are reportedly in agreeement with left-handed starter Jose Quintana on a two-year, $26 million deal, according to sources close to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.
This news comes on the heels on Taijuan Walker signing a four-year, $72 million with the division rival Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night and it comes as a cheaper replacement, but this is another case where the Mets made good on themselves in terms of allocating their money.
The Mets needed a lefty starter when it comes to facing big hitters in their division, and Quintana provides that at an ace-like level.
Matt Olson, Michael Harris, Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper (when he is healthy) torched the Mets at lengths last year. All of these hitters are left-handed hitters, and in a division that has gone scorched-earth with notable additions over the past few years, the Mets needed someone to offset these hitters, and Quintana has always been a solid pitcher going back to when he was young with the Chicago White Sox.
Also, Quintana was excellent last year between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals. In 165.2 innings, he posted a 2.93 ERA and a 137 ERA+, and he gave up just 0.4 home runs per nine innings, which was the lowest in baseball.
In 2022, Quintana improved on some key analytical numbers from 2021. His average exit velocity improved from 90.6 mph in 2021 to 86.5 in 2022, hard hit rate went from 45.5% to 35.8%, and cut his walk rate from 11.8% to 6.9%. He used his changeup more often and it yielded better results.
The Mets rotation is better today than it was yesterday.
Everyone expected the Mets to add multiple starting pitchers. They've already done that with Justin Verlander, and now they add someone who has ace experience before, having done that with a couple of other teams in the past.
As the Mets saw last year, injuries are a thing, and they have two future Hall-of-Fame pitchers who are at the twilights of their careers in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, and you never know when the Mets' depth will be tested.
And in big spots, Quintana has come up big. In three of his four career postseason starts, he has pitched at least five innings and given up two or fewer runs, including Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series for the Cardinals where he tossed 5.1 scoreless innings against the Phillies.
Taijuan Walker's normal stats were better than his analytical numbers, so for $46 million cheaper, the Mets got an upgrade to their starting rotation, and is more proof that the Mets are spending their money wisely. The scary thing for baseball is the Mets aren't done just yet.