One name that hasn’t been mentioned a lot as a possible Mets target is free agent Right Hander Garrett Richards. The former Angels ace is coming off a solid and most importantly healthy 2020 season with the Padres. He could be a solid back end of the rotation option for the Mets.
Health is a main issue for Richards who hasn’t made 32 starts since 2015. His most innings in a year after 2015 was 76.1 innings in 2018. In this shortend season, he came to 50.1 innings, pitching to a 4.03 ERA.
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Arm issues has been a main issue. He has battled UCL troubles resulting in TJS in 2019. Hopefully the UCL issues are now behind him.
When on the field, Richards has been very good. Over 804.2 innings, he pitched to a 3.62 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Worth mentioning that his 2020 WHIP was close to his career norm (1.25).
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In 2020, Richards has shown great spin rate for his FB and Curve spin. He was in the 99th percentile in curve spin and 97th percentile in fastball spin. That with an 95.1 average fastball, it could be a very good pitch. However, his 4 seamer does get hit so worth taking a look, how that can be improved while the metrics look solid.
The could be something there for Richards and with a lot of teams likely worried about his health, he could become a cheap option to put in the back of the rotation. A very good when healthy back end starter if you can get him. Definitely worth to look into IMO, although the Mets rotation can not afford much question mark additions.
Photo from Getty Images/ Jamie Squire