Which lefty with a no-hitter on his resume is best for the Mets this season?

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NY Mets free agent candidate with a left arm and no-hitter Carlos Rodon

There’s a big benefit to Carlos Rodon. All he costs is money. Coming off of a fantastic year with the Chicago White Sox, he seemed to finally reach his full potential.

On April 14, 2021, Rodon showed those signs. He threw a no-hitter versus the future Cleveland Guardians. It was the start of a brilliant year.

Rodon went 13-5 with a 2.37 ERA last year. He finished fifth in the Cy Young race and would have had a chance to go further if he could do one other thing: stay healthy. Rodon made only 24 starts for Chicago last year which continues a theme throughout his career. Rodon, despite having some level of big league experience dating back to 2015, has never made more than 28 starts in a single campaign.

This should raise some red flags. Even in his career year last season, Rodon missed time. He’s actually a little bit more of a wild card than some other guys out there. Compared to Manaea, Rodon is anything but reliable.

The pair actually compare well to each other. Manaea has also missed some time in his career. Last season was his first reaching 30 starts in a season. He wasn’t as good as Rodon either which sways some of the advantage back into the free agent’s corner.

The trouble with Rodon, aside from his injury history, could be the fact that he has only one other season with an ERA below 4.00. This came back as a rookie in 2015. He’s the kind of guy you sign short-term and hope you win with him on the roster. If things don’t work out, you cut ties and wish him well.

We have a tough decision to make now. Do we trade for Manaea or pay Rodon? Let’s call it a draw for now and move on to another choice for the Mets.