As of Friday at 8 P.M., roughly 30 major leaguers became unrestricted free agents, as they were non-tendered by their teams during the arbitration process. This year’s class seems to be one of the strongest ever, with a handful of household names on the market, and some under-the-radar names that are building solid major league careers now up for grab. Which of these now teamless players can best help the Mets?
1. Shelby Miller RHP
- 2018 Stats: 0-4, 10.69 ERA, 16 IP, 2.00 WHIP, 6,35 FIP, 41 ERA+
- Age: 28
Miller missed most of the 2018 season following Tommy John surgery in 2017 and subsequent elbow inflammation following his return to the majors in June. Prior to the procedure, Miller was one of the better starters in baseball.
He finished third in the 2013 Rookie of the Year voting, and made an All-Star appearance in 2015. He had a career ERA of 3.67 from 2012-2017, a WHIP of 1.3, and started 120 games in the 5 year span.
In arguably his best year, Miller received the 2013 Matt Harvey run treatment, as he lost 17 games, and posted an ERA of 3.02 and a WHIP of 1.25 in his 2015 campaign. Miller was then moved in the Dansby Swanson trade to Arizona, where he never returned to form.
2. Jonathan Schoop INF
- 2018 Stats: .233/.266/.416, .682 OPS, 85 OPS+,
- Age: 27
Schoop burst on the scene in with Baltimore in 2015 after being unimpressive in his first two seasons. He was an important part of the 2014 playoff run for the Orioles after hitting .300 in the ALDS, and lead them to their series win over the Tigers.
Schoop has predominantly been a second baseman in his Major League career, but has also seen time at both shortstop and third base. Schoop was dealt to the Brewers from the Orioles at the trading deadline, where he went on to split time between all three positions.
He struggled at the plate, only hitting .202 for the Brewers after hitting .262 for the Orioles, and his obvious struggles lead to his non-tendering. Schoop is a solid bounce-back candidate for any team in the market.
3. Xavier Cedeno LHP
- 2018 Stats: 2-0, 2.43 ERA, 33.1 IP, 1.26 WHIP, 2.95 FIP, 175 ERA+
- Age: 32
Cedeno has had an up and down Major League career, but enjoyed success last season in his first with the White Sox. The lefty was on his fifth team and had his first sub-3 ERA since 2015 with the Nationals and Rays.
He also spent time with the Brewers during their playoff push, and allowed only one run in eight total innings of work over 15 games. Cedeno has been a LOOGY throughout his career, and an effective one at that.
Lefties have a career .223 batting average since he debuted in 2011 and an OPS under .600. Cedeno can be a very quiet signing that pays dividends for the Mets.
4. Yangervis Solarte INF
- 2018 Stats: .226/.277/.378, .655 OPS, 80 OPS+
- Age: 26
Solarte started off his career in 2014 between the Yankees and Padres and recorded a WAR over 1.0 every season except for one, where he still posted a positive WAR. Solarte has played 40 or more games at every infield position, but the most at third base and second base.
Solarte posted an OPS under .700 for the first time in his career, and has been a replacement level player since he debuted, and can fill the hole of a right-handed bench role for the Mets. There’s still room for him to grow due to his age, so he’ll likely get a multi-year deal. But his age and versatility give the Mets some reason to explore his services.
5. RHP Blake Parker
- 2018 Stats: 2-1, 3.26 ERA, 66.1 IP, 1.23 WHIP, 4.40 FIP, 128 ERA+
- Age: 33
Blake Parker has been up and down between the Majors and the Minors since his debut in 2012. Now looking for his fifth team, Parker revitalized his career with the Angels and recorded 14 saves in 67 games.
He has spent the last two seasons in Los Angeles with the Angels, where he posted a 2.90 ERA in 138 (yes, one-hundred and thirty-eight) games, and posted a WHIP of 1.03, which is very impressive.
Parker is on the best run of his career and could be just reaching his peak. He is another under-the-radar name on the reliever market that can become a valuable asset in the Mets’ bullpen.