9 under the radar trade targets the Mets should pursue

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners
Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Zac Gallen, Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Ben Green/GettyImages

Zac Gallen has the kind of upside that should intrigue the Mets.

The righty made a career-high 23 starts and pitched 121.1 innings in 2021. He gave up 108 hits, 58 earned runs, 49 walks, and struck out 139 batters. His ERA was 4.30, his FIP was 4.25, his WHIP was 1.29, and his fWAR was 1.5.

His Savant metrics showed mixed results. He had a good strikeout rate (70th percentile)  and expected batting average against (60th percentile), but he didn’t get many swings and misses (28th percentile in whiff rate and 25th percentile in chase rate) and he gave up a lot of hard contact (18th percentile hard hit rate and 38th percentile in average exit velocity). Even with the high hard hit rate, he did avoid barrels (48th percentile, which is basically average).

One concern with him is that he walks a lot of batters. Over his career, he averages 3.6 walks per nine innings. His overall walk rate is 9.6% and, which is in the 34th percentile on Savant. If he can harness his control a little more, he will be much more effective. 

Prior to this season, his highest ERA was 2.81 in his rookie season in 2019. Gallen is not a guy with flashy stuff, but the man knows how to pitch. He comes with four years of control remaining in the prime of his career. Since the Diamondbacks won’t be winning baseball games for a few years, maybe they’ll consider moving him.