3. Hyun-Jin Ryu
Of the three pitchers, Ryu has the most consistent track record. Coming over to the United States from South Korea in 2013, Ryu spent his first 6 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2015, Ryu would come back to stardom, pitching to a 2.30 ERA in 56 starts between 2018-2020. He was Jacob deGrom's greatest competitor for the Cy Young Award in 2019, having pitched to a 2.32 ERA in 182.2 innings pitched.
Ryu has never been the same since the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season. He has only pitched one full season in 2021, where he had a 4.37 ERA in 169 innings pitched. He has only appeared in 17 games for the Blue Jays the past 2 seasons, though stabilizing himself with a solid 3.46 ERA in 2023. Unlike Flaherty or Paxton, Ryu has still been effective even since sustaining multiple injuries over the past few seasons. If the Mets were to target one of these choices, Ryu has the greatest potential to bounce back in 2024 given his effectiveness through 11 starts last season.
While no one-year contract candidate is selling season tickets, these are all low-risk for a team that just needs quality starts. With top-of-the-market names like Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell requesting multi-year contracts worth well over $100 million, the Mets may be inclined to balk at these options. The risk given their track records is that teams will pay for what they have already done, not for what they will do in the future. Next offseason will offer a better free agent pool with names the likes of Shane Bieber, Walker Buehler, and Max Fried. If the Mets were to contend in 2025, the best move would be to look short-term aside from Yamamoto.