Former ace Jon Lester is on the free agent market and could be a target for the Mets. Lester is coming off a bad year but still provided innings. Lester pitched to a 5.16 ERA over 61 innings. Is Lester the move fans would want? No, but could he be a solid pick up?
I see Jon Lester as a Colon type move, but for just one year and at a cheaper price. The Mets have a need for more than one starter. They could go with one top arm and an innings eater to fill out the rotation. In comes: Jon Lester.
Lester has been as durable as it gets in his career. Since 2008, Lester has made at least 31 starts in every year besides 2020, for obvious reasons. Between 2014 and 2017, Lester has been at the top of his game. Since then, he has been iffy.
Main issue with Lester being his tendency to allow hits and homeruns. Over the last two seasons, he has allowed more hits than innings pitched. As well as his HR per nine spiking up to 1.6 in 2020. Lester isn’t at the point in his career where he’s going to strikes out hitters like he used to, as well. Luckily, the walks have been down.
Lester’s hard hit rates and expected slash lines are worrisome. He also had a spike in barrel percentage in 2020. All indications that the quality of Lester could be pretty bad.
This move wouldn’t make a lot of people happy, it would be a move I don’t think will fall well, unless you spend your resources elsewhere and need an innings guy. For example if the Mets get Hendricks and build a killer pen, with a killer lineup, a guy like Lester would fit well. He takes the ball every fifth day and you know you get innings. He needs to keep his team in the game for the offense/bullpen to do the rest.
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