The New York Mets have their eyes on several moves this offseason to bolster the lineup, rotation, and bullpen. Most of the rumors they’ve been mentioned in involve free agents, because Steve Cohen has proven already that he is willing to spend money to improve this year.
Another area they can focus on is trades, specifically, buy-low trades. There are plenty of players who had down years or got hurt last season and could be acquired for a lower cost than normal while expecting them to have bounce-back years. Here are three buy-low trade candidates the Mets should pursue.
Mets buy-low trade candidate: German Marquez
German Marquez has been a really solid pitcher for a few years now, and many people think he’ll take the next step when he mercifully leaves Colorado.
Marquez made 31 starts and pitched 181.2 innings in 2022. He allowed 185 hits, 100 earned runs, 63 walks, and struck out 150 batters. His ERA was 4.95, his FIP was 4.71, his WHIP was 1.365, and his ERA+ was 94.
He allowed the most hits of any year in his career, the second most walks, and struck out the second fewest batters. That’s not a recipe for success anywhere, but it’s particularly catastrophic in Colorado.
So could he do better on the Mets? Absolutely. The ball doesn’t fly at Citi Field like it does in Coors Field, the Mets have a smaller field and better defenders, and, if he can spin his breaking ball better outside of Colorado, he should see a rise in strikeouts. The other thing that is incredibly valuable is his ability to eat innings. He’s pitched 162 innings or more in five of his seven big league seasons, and he led the NL in innings in the COVID-shortened 2020 season with 81.2.
We saw firsthand how dominant he can be at Citi Field this year when Marquez absolutely steamrolled the Mets on August 28th. He tossed seven innings of one-hit ball, allowing just two walks and striking out five.
Marquez comes with one year remaining on his contract for $15 million in 2023 and a mutual option in 2024 for $16 million. If Marquez can trim the hits and homers allowed while boosting his strikeouts and eating innings, those are pretty fair figures. The Mets should definitely check in on him this winter.