Before everything came to a screeching halt, there were some New York Mets rumors flying around about their interest in practically everyone. One free agent to appear in the pre-lockout Mets rumors was Yusei Kikuchi. An All-Star lefty starter in 2021, he would normally meet the criteria of what the Mets were looking for. Unfortunately, his 6-4 with a 3.48 ERA in the first half didn’t carry over to the latter part of the season where he was 1-5 with a 5.98 ERA.
Kikuchi’s three years in MLB haven’t gone the way the Seattle Mariners had planned when they signed him back in January of 2019. Through 70 starts, he’s 15-24 with a 4.97 ERA.
Now 30, it’s not looking like he’ll ever be able to lofty expectations once he once held.
Mets rumors linking them to free agent starter Yusei Kikuchi should stay in the past
The Mets could still need another arm in the rotation. Based on his performance, Kikuchi isn’t it.
There’s not much positive to say about Kikuchi’s MLB career thus far. He has been below average with too many walks and home runs allowed. For a team like the Mets to have interest in someone so far down the list of the best free agents available comes as a bit of a surprise.
Kikuchi has already made some good money in the big leagues ($43 million in three years) so I’m not sure which direction he plans to follow. Three years with the Mariners, the team with the longest playoff drought in the game, should have him at least looking to land somewhere with a chance to win. The Mets fit this description, but free agency is a two-way street.
Reported interest in Kikuchi didn’t go beyond two teams. His appearance in late November Mets rumors had little company. Only the Toronto Blue Jays were linked to him as well.
These Mets rumors did appear after the Max Scherzer deal which could indicate the team is aiming for a player like Kikuchi to round out their rotation. The only thing to like about this is their willingness to upgrade the rotation, possibly with a main focus to seek out a more experienced arm.
Does it have to be Kikuchi, though?
Unless they’ve seen something none of us have, this is one of those Mets rumors I hope doesn’t come back for a sequel.