The Mets will be going into the offseason with a lot of question marks, but one thing is clear: they need more starting pitching. Sandy Alderson has said in interviews that he will be looking for someone who can be counted on for a lot of innings, which probably means they would be steering clear of high-ceiling starters with injury issues, such as Michael Pineda and Lance Lynn.
The sticker prices on Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta will probably deter the Mets, so who are some mid-level starters they should have their eye on?
A frequent victim of the Coors Field effect, Chacin has pitched at least 180 innings per season since his 2014 shoulder surgery and is on track to do so again. Results for him have been mixed, leading to minor league stints in 2015 and 2016, but his strikeout rate has actually improved over the past two years and he has been remarkably resistant to the home run bug sweeping through the league this year.
His 4.12 ERA for the season is fairly pedestrian for a Petco pitcher, but his career ERA+ (park-adjusted to account for his time in Colorado) is 111, notably better than the league average of 100. He is also a relatively youthful 29 years old, so he could potentially be signed for the back end of his peak years at a reasonable price.
Garcia hasn't quite reached the heights expected of him as a young pitcher in St. Louis, but he has been quietly effective this year for three different teams. He returned strong from a 2014 shoulder surgery, but has dealt with some control issues since then and has only topped 30 starts in a season twice.
Going into his age-31 season, his career 3.66 ERA is a positive, as well as his consistent ability to keep the ball in the ballpark. Also promising is that his pitch velocity shows no sign of decline -- and his fastball has even ticked up a bit. With up-and-down results during his career, he may be open to a short-term deal to build value for another contract down the line.
Unlike some of the other options on the table, Vargas has missed significant time recently, undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2015. But he has been effective since his return, putting up a 3.91 ERA since the middle of 2016. He has generally been quite durable, topping 200 innings twice and making 30 or more starts five times, including this season.
Vargas has been roughly league average over the course of his career, but also consistent. His relatively advanced age of 34 means he should end up with a short-term deal, which is always appealing to the Mets. His ceiling is lower than Chacin and Garcia, but his signing could be excellent value.
Dickey is a bit of a wild card here since the Braves have a team option on him for 2018. But a team looking for innings should be very interested in the 43-year-old knuckleballer who incredibly has pitched over 200 innings in five of the last seven seasons, trailing only Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer in total innings over that stretch.
Dickey hasn't seen the same success that brought him a Cy Young Award with the Mets, but he has been remarkably consistent, with an ERA+ of exactly the league-average 100 since becoming a Blue Jay in 2013. A reunion would likely be welcome on both sides, but it depends on how the Braves handle an offseason of transition for an increasingly young team.
Maggie Wiggin (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Archive Posts) has been a Mets fan since birth and a MetsBlog contributor since 2013. She loves throwing hard and hitting hard and hates the DH. When baseball is out of season, she fills her days with data analysis and evaluation and patiently waits for Spring