Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets enter the Winter Meetings having re-signed Brad Brach to a one-year deal with a player option for 2021 that could turn out to be a steal if Brach performs in 2020 like he has during most of his career.
But Brach isn't nearly enough.
With Brach back in the fold, the Mets currently have six pitchers who would likely be guaranteed spots in the 2020 bullpen: Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman, and Brach.
After a season where the Mets failed to reach the playoffs due in large part to the failures of their bullpen, they should be looking to add two more reliable relievers to the above, with one of them ideally being a late-inning guy.
Here are five free agent relievers they should have an eye on...
Betances offers a ton of upside but also lots of risk.
From 2014 to 2018 with the Yankees, Betances had a 2.22 ERA (2.26 FIP) and 1.02 WHIP with 607 strikeouts in 373.1 IP (349 appearances). That dominance didn't come without blips, though, with Betances struggling so badly in 2017 that it impacted his usage in the playoffs. Still, the soon-to-be 32-year-old has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball since debuting.
The main danger here lies in the fact that Betances missed all but one game in 2019 due to a lat injury and then an Achilles injury he suffered during his only appearance.
Betances is expected to be 100 percent for Spring Training, and should have plenty of suitors, including the Mets.
Like Drew Pomeranz but on a much smaller scale, Gausman shifted from a starting role to a relief role in 2019 after switching teams.
Gausman went from the Braves (where he had a 6.19 ERA as a starter) to the Reds, where he pitched very well in relief.
In 15 appearances (one start, 14 in relief), Gausman had a 4.03 ERA (3.17 FIP) and 1.16 WHIP while striking out 29 batters in 22.1 IP -- good for a strikeout rate of 11.7 per 9, which was the best of his career.
The A's tried to trade Treinen before the non-tender deadline before designating him for assignment.
Treinen had a brutal 2019 season after being arguably the best reliever in baseball in 2018. And lots of those struggles had to do with a lack of command that may or may not have been due in part to the new baseball.
Like Betances, Treinen comes with significant upside. And like Betances, Treinen will have plenty of suitors.
Harris has been one of the best relievers in baseball since 2015, and he had a stellar season with the Astros in 2019, with a 1.50 ERA (3.15 FIP) and 0.93 WHIP with 62 strikeouts in 60 IP (68 appearances).
While Harris isn't a high-velocity guy, his two pitch mix of a cutter and curve has served him well over the last three seasons as he became one of the key cogs in Houston.
Like Harris, Smith was with the Astros in 2019. And like Harris, Smith won't blow hitters away with high velocity.
But Smith -- whose career began with the Mets in 2007 -- has been both reliable and durable during his career. He had a 1.80 ERA (3.09 FIP) and 0.96 WHIP in 2019.