The New York Mets have a long to-do list this offseason. They still need to build a front office, address the rotation, figure out a few positions in the field and lineup.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about under-the-radar free agents the Mets should target. I still believe free agency is the best path for the Mets to take, but there are some good options available through trades as well.
You won’t find German Marquez, Matt Chapman, or Jose Ramirez in this article because they are star players. I’m looking for good-but-not-great options, ideally with some team control left. Let’s look at some under-the-radar trade targets.
The Mets are in the market for lots of pitching. Frankie Montas would be a great addition.
Montas is coming off a great 2021. The 28-year-old made 32 starts, pitching 187 innings. He gave up 164 hits, 70 earned runs, 57 walks, and struck out 207 batters. He had a 3.37 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 1.18 WHIP, and 4.1 fWAR. He got 26.6% of his outs via strikeout, and of his batted balls, almost 43% were on the ground.
His Baseball Savant page shows mixed results. He gave up a lot of hard contact, ranking in the 23rd percentile in hard hit rate and 36th in barrel rate and average exit velocity. The good news is that he excelled in getting swings and misses. He ranked in the 91st percentile in chase rate, 75th in whiff rate, and 70th in strikeout rate.
The righty throws four pitches. He throws a 4-seam fastball and a sinker, both in the high 90’s. He uses both of them about 30% of the time. His splitter is his best off speed pitch, sitting in the high 80’s that he uses about 22% of the time. It’s one of the best pitches in baseball with a .126 batting average against, .168 slugging percentage against, and batters swinging and missing at it more than 51% of the time.He rounds out his arsenal with a high 80’s, high spin slider.
There are a couple of concerns about Montas. One is his health. Before this season, he had never made more than 16 starts or pitched more than 96 innings. The other is that he got suspended for performance-enhancing drugs in June of 2019. He claims that he didn’t intend to take it, but it was “a contaminated supplement” purchased over the counter. He hasn’t had any PED issues since.)
The A’s are going full sell mode, putting everyone on the block. Montas is under team control through 2023, so whichever team acquires him will have two years of control. With the possibility of Stroman leaving in free agency, this is someone the Mets should be interested in.