Free Agent Focus: John Lackey

Mets ParadiseCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 22:  Starting pitcher John Lackey #41 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees in Game Five of the ALCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Angel Stadium on October 22, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)
Jacob de Golish/Getty Images

Going into the off-season one thing  that the Mets wanted to improve upon was their pitching. Mets had many problems with their starters last year, most of them being injuries. Going into the season it was thought their starting rotation would be Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, John Maine and Livan Hernandez. Only Pelfrey would actually stay relatively healthy the whole season, but even he didn’t pitch 200 innings and posted a 5.03 ERA while doing it.

For starting pitching their ERA ranked 23rd in the MLB, 28th in walks and 24th in strikeouts. With injury questions and skill level question in the rotation the Mets will look to acquire a number 2 pitcher this off-season. However, the free agent market for great pitchers is limited and the only name that stands out is John Lackey.

John Lackey went 11-8 last year with a 3.83 ERA, 139 strikeouts and only 47 walks. He did only start 27 games and pitch 176.1 innings, which could be a concern for the Mets. He also turned in a great post-season performance which is sure to up his value.  Lackey’s best year come in 2007 19-9 with a 3.01 ERA, 179 strikeouts, 52 walks and 224 innings pitched.

Now when it comes down to the Mets it’s all about money. According to, last year’s performance was valued at $17.6M. The Mets have been known to overpay for free agent that they really want (ie. Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez). But are the willing to spend the big bucks on Lackey? He hasn’t pitched 200 innings since that great performance in 2007 and the Mets have already stated that his injuries the past two years could be a problem. If there is one thing that we Mets fans don’t want is another player who will get injured.....