Kyle Freeland is a 29-year-old left-handed starting pitcher on the Colorado Rockies with free agency ahead of him after the 2023 season. On a club with no true direction, he’s a trade candidate the New York Mets should take a close look at.
Entering his start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 4, Freeland is 4-5 with a 4.31 ERA in 85.2 innings of work. His 4.35 FIP tells us his ERA is about where it should be while the 110 ERA+ suggests he is indeed better than average.
There are two very specific reasons why Freeland could be a match for the Mets. He meets two important criteria they should consider when looking to add to their starting rotation.
Mets trade target Kyle Freeland might be an ideal fit for 2 major reasons
Aside from his fantastic 17-7, 2.85 ERA season he had for the Rockies in 2018, Freeland fit with what the team could use beyond performance. It’s his remaining minor league option that should have Billy Eppler most intrigued.
The Mets should definitely be in the market for some added starting rotation depth. They’ve managed to survive with David Peterson and Trevor Williams making an abundance of starts. Even with Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom making their way back to the field, they can never go wrong with adding more arms.
Freeland fits well with the Mets because he can simply be sent to the minor leagues if there becomes a roster crunch. It might not be fair. It might not give them the best roster. What it does do is offer a little more flexibility.
But there is a second reason beyond just using Freeland temporarily. Because he throws from the left side, he might even be a good option to help upgrade the southpaws in the bullpen.
It has become painfully obvious that Joely Rodriguez and Chasen Shreve need to be upgraded. The Mets should be considering every option available. This extends from eventually moving David Peterson into a relief role to trading for a lefty reliever. Freeland, while not a reliever, can help offer a solution in the rotation temporarily while also giving the team a future option in the bullpen. He’s someone they can use in two different ways and adjust as the season progresses. The Mets may even choose to simply stash him in Triple-A until he is needed to start games.
There could be some upcoming chaos for the Mets later this season with starting pitchers. deGrom, Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, and Chris Bassitt are all without minor league options nor should we expect any to actually get sent to Syracuse. More realistically, if any of the latter three struggled, they would find their way into the bullpen.
Freeland is kind of like Williams was for the club last year: a trade deadline acquisition to offer them some choices. He might cost a little more but he shouldn’t be outrageously overpriced like some of the other expected available pitchers.
It shouldn’t cost the Mets one of their top prospects to land Freeland. Pair him with Charlie Blackmon as a DH option and we have ourselves a blockbuster move to help in two spots.