3 starting pitchers the Mets can still add in free agency

chris bassitt, mets
Jul 29, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Chris Bassitt (40) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are currently locked in with at least three starting pitchers for 2023. With Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Jose Quintana atop the starting rotation, there is much to feel good about. Even still, reports have indicated that the Mets seem motivated to get one more top starting arm left on the market.

Given the Mets’ already expensive payroll, if they were to come to terms with one of the top starters left on the market, one would have to assume that the team will look to move Carlos Carrasco. Rumored buzz has already suggested trading Carrasco could be the case. It would certainly take some stress off of the massive payroll. Plus, adding one of these arms essentially fills either the third or fourth spot in the rotation alongside the recently-acquired Quintana.

Let’s review three starting pitchers the Mets would be wise to sign at this point in time.

Three mid-rotation starters the Mets should look into signing:

1. Kodai Senga, RHP

The obvious headliner most Mets fans seem to be hoping for. Kodai Senga would bring loads of excitement and potential to this Mets baseball team in 2023.

The right-hander turns 30 in January. In 11 years of pitching in the Japan Leagues, Senga has recorded a 2.42 ERA and a 104-51 record. Senga is coming off of a year in 2022 in which he went 11-6, finishing with a tremendous 1.89 ERA.

At this point in the offseason, for the Mets to add Senga with Verlander, Scherzer, and Quintana would be thrilling. It would also undoubtedly give this rotation a higher ceiling.

2. Chris Bassitt, RHP

Chris Bassitt was a solid, valuable asset to the Mets’ 2022 success. Concluding the year with 15 wins, a 3.42 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and 181.2 innings, the 33-year-old is set to sign a nice three or four-year contract.

A few weeks ago, there were some reports indicating that the Mets were hoping to retain Bassitt. His market is likely competitive, and he will probably land a deal in the $20 million a year range, which unfortunately makes it tough for the Mets.

All in all, Bassitt proved himself well in his first year in New York. To have him alongside Senga still available gives the Mets options and a backup plan to get something done.

3. Ross Stripling, RHP

Ross Stripling recently turned 33 and is coming off one stellar year. With the Toronto Blue jays, Stripling started 24 games and made 32 total appearances. He had a 10-4 record, a 3.01 ERA, and a 1.02 WHIP over 134.1 innings pitched.

Stripling had some ERA issues in 2020 and 2021. However, every other year of his seven-year career (2016-19 and 2022), his ERA has been under four.

He offers versatility between starting and relieving. Something similar to what the Mets had in Trevor Williams, who they just lost to the Washington Nationals. His career splits are as balanced as could be (104 starts, 100 relief appearances). Stripling had by far a career-best year in 2022 and would be a good pitcher to acquire at this moment for the Mets.