2. Collin McHugh
Younger Mets fans may not remember, but Collin McHugh was once a starting pitching prospect for the Mets in 2012. In short, McHugh was atrocious for the Mets in 2012 and was later traded to Colorado in 2013 for Eric Young Jr. While this trade seemed like a steal in 2013, EYJ would never replicate his breakout performance.
On the other end, McHugh would find his form while pitching in the elite Houston Astros analytical structure and turned his career around just like Cole, Morton, and Verlander did. He pitched to a 3.63 ERA across six seasons for Houston and continued to dominate for the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves between 2021 and 2022.
2023 was not so kind to McHugh, as he finished with a 4.30 ERA in 58 innings for the Braves. Heading into his age 37 season, McHugh will not warrant more than a one-year contract with a 2025 club option. Should this be the case, the Mets would be wise to make McHugh an offer. Without David Peterson for opening day, the Mets will be short on long-relief options who can make a spot start if needed. It was not long ago he was a dominant starter/reliever for Houston and Tampa Bay and has the ability to eat multiple innings a game such as Seth Lugo did in 2019.