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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Triston McKenzie, Mets
Cleveland Indians v Texas Rangers / Tim Warner/GettyImages

This is a long shot. A really, really long shot. The type of long shot you’d need baseball’s equivalent of Chris Kyle to take. But Triston McKenzie would help the Mets a lot.

McKenzie is coming off of a good sophomore season He made 24 starts, pitching 120 innings. He gave up 84 hits, 66 earned runs, 58 walks, and struck out 136 batters. His ERA was 4.95, his FIP was 4.70, his WHIP was 1.18, and his fWAR was 1.1. He struggled in the first half (5.47 ERA and 1.40 WHIP), but he turned it on in the second half (4.58 ERA and 1.03 WHIP).

McKenzie is really good at getting swings and misses. He was in the 65th percentile in whiff rate, and in the 77th percentile in strikeout rate and chase rate. One thing he could get better at is allowing less hard contact, finishing in the 17th percentile in average exit velocity, 18th percentile in barrels, 23rd percentile in hard hit rate.

Cleveland was basically a .500 team in 2021. They’ve already moved on from Francisco Lindor, and the Jose Ramirez era will come to a foretold end soon, when he either gets traded this winter or at the trade deadline next summer. They have a decent farm system, ranked 13th by MLB Pipeline, but the Indians won’t be ready to contend again for a few years. McKenzie has value in his performance and in his youth (five years of team control remaining), and it would behoove them to consider moving him to speed up their rebuild. It would be expensive for the Mets, easily costing Matt Allan and more, but if they think a winning window is opening, they should pony up. 

Who do you want to see the Mets trade for?

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