No Yoshinobu Yamamoto, no problem for the New York Mets. Or is it?
Missing out on the Japanese ace was a big blow to the Mets’ offseason hopes, but a collection of elite pitchers remains for the franchise to pursue in free agency and the trade market.
Mets Looking at Lucas Giolito as Secondary Offseason Pitching Acquisition
Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that the Mets are among five teams that have shown interest in Cleveland Indians RHP Lucas Giolito, who could end up being the pitcher they need to strengthen their staff in 2024. Puma remarked:
“The Mets are showing strong interest in the right-hander, whose top selling point might be his ability to consume innings. Giolito, pitched 184 ¹/? innings last season — divided among the White Sox, Angels, and Guardians — marking the fourth time since 2018 he surpassed 170 in a season.”
Giolito finished No. 6 among all pitchers with 204 strikeouts in 2023. He put together a strong body of work this past season but the Red Sox cratered in the AL East with a 78-84 record, not giving him the chance to carry over his fireball of an arm into the postseason.
The Mets bringing in Giolito would give them another upper-echelon pitcher next to Kodai Senga, who was named a 2023 MLB All-Star as a rookie. New York has the opportunity to form a formidable triumvirate with Giolito next to Senga and Jose Quintana.
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How Will the Mets Deal With Pursuits of Giolito & Other Expensive Free Agent Targets?
Multiple sources say that Giolito will be in line for a deal in the $50 to $80 million range this offseason. He last made $10.4 million in his third year of arbitration eligibility.
Other franchises interested in the 2019 All-Star include the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets own a record $101 luxury tax bill, but that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent in their chase for a top-tier talent to help them achieve more wins and a playoff appearance in 2024.
Steve Cohen and the front office will have to decide whether Giolito is worth the market price attached to his name, and worth it more than the other pitchers in his class that are available.