2) NY Mets replacement for Max Scherzer in free agency: Julio Urias
Another young, outstanding pitcher that could be available this offseason is Julio Urias. The 26-year-old hasn't gotten the headlines of some of his peers, but he's been without a doubt one of the best pitchers in baseball the last few years, often saving his best work for the high pressure games of the second half and playoffs.
It's hard to imagine an organization as financially healthy and committed to winning as the Los Angeles Dodgers letting a homegrown talent as special as Urias go, but there seem to have been no meaningful extension talks as of yet.
Urias is pitching this year under a one-year, $14.25 million contract, and he will undoubtedly get a long-term deal at a much higher AAV this offseason. Steve Cohen has proven that money is no object, which will make the Mets one of the few teams that can afford the hefty price tag Urias will command.
The Mets got some firsthand experience in what Urias can do, as he shut them down for just one hit in six innings two weeks ago in Citi Field. That outing was one of the few good ones Urias has had in recent starts though, as his ERA and WHIP are both higher than they've been since his first two years in the big leagues.
Urias' walk rate and strikeout rate are nearly identical to last season's numbers, a season in which he finished in third place in the NL Cy Young race. His hard hit % is up slightly, and he is giving up 50% more homers per nine. The Mets will have to determine what's real when deciding if Urias is worth the big money his career stats and age dictate he should be.