As analyzed earlier today in Metsmerized, the New York Mets still have some work to do addressing their bullpen. Luckily for them, despite being so far into the offseason, there are still quality options available. Through both the free agent market and potentially interesting trade options:Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
tanner rainey He was in the midst of a breakout when his season ended prematurely due to Tommy John surgery in August 2022. Since then he has been lost in the memories of baseball fans and has been appropriated by both. kyle finnegan And hunter harvey In the back-end bullpen pecking order for the Washington Nationals.
While his walk rate is slightly above average, Rainey has strikeout stuff and throws very fast. He is under contract for two more seasons and would form the perfect bridge to Edwin Diaz In those years. He has untapped potential and is finally healthy, could become a sensible pickup that would strengthen the running back and provide Diaz with a more comfortable option when he’s not available.
david robertson Worked twice with the New York Yankees, so why not twice with the Mets? He was downright elite with the Mets last season, but fell on hard times after a trade with the Miami Marlins. He should still be viewed as one of the better setup options available and if he’s open to it, a reunion would make a lot of sense.
This time, Robertson will be in a slightly lower-impact role, with Diaz as the leading man. Additionally, while his ERA was unfair with the Marlins, his peripherals weren’t that bad and it would be hard to project Robertson for anything other than a solid season in 2024.
The 36-year-old former Red Sox pitcher has been randomly impressive at times. Those times include his stint in Los Angeles last season Ryan Brasier Pitched to a microscopic 0.70 ERA. While it would be foolish to expect that level of dominance from Brasier, he is much better than he is recognized for and is a solid middle reliever at worst.
Brasier still has a high-octane fastball, has plenty of experience in high-leverage relief and should be significantly cheaper than most relievers with similar resumes. He has had a successful career as a two-pitch reliever and added a third weapon with the Dodgers last season as he also began throwing a cutter. He’s under-the-radar and shouldn’t be, which makes him one of the rare free agents whose value may exceed what he gets paid.
After a wonderful 2022, Keegan Thompson Its timing was very bad in 2023. Last season, Thompson was viewed as a potential mid-rotation starter and is now being looked at on the outside in terms of the Cubs’ 2024 roster. Additionally, Thompson has one more option remaining so he can become a depth player and shuttle between Triple-A and the majors next season.
Thompson is still quite young and has a strong performance. I think it would be beneficial to establish him in a full-time relief role rather than constantly juggling his workload. has the potential to become one seth lugo That type of reliever, as we know, is extremely valuable, and may even be under control for a few more seasons.
Now, a full year removed from Tommy John rehab, lucas sims He was once a rising bullpen star and may be poised to reach a new level of success next season. Sims had a good season in 2023, but a bloated walk rate kept him from dominating. His walk rate was significantly higher than his career numbers and it is known that some pitchers struggled with command during their first year on Tommy John.
In 2021, Sims had elite peripheral equipment and is a step away from the upper echelon of major relief pitchers. He is also a free agent after the 2024 season and could be a prime trade candidate for the Reds as their window for contention is just beginning to open.
Brent Honeywell, FA
Brent Honeywell wouldn’t be the first former prospect to develop into a major reliever. Although he is far from that and closer to a borderline major leaguer at this point, he certainly still has the qualities that once made him a top prospect.
If he can be unlocked, it could change his career. He has a four-pitch mix and still throws in the mid-90 mph range. With the right level of confidence, protection and health, Honeywell could become an above average or better reliever.
Under-the-radar excellence over the past few seasons, matt moore He has finally turned his career around and looks like a real weapon out of the bullpen. Like Honeywell, Moore was also a top prospect for the Rays who derailed due to poor performance and multiple injuries. Yet, now, he has put together back-to-back quality seasons and should be in line for a decent-sized contract.
He even dropped his walk rate to a personal-best 6.9%, threw strongly from the left side, and had great ERAs over the last few seasons. What’s not to like here?
Once a top-10 prospect in all of baseball, Nate Pearson He was hit by injury early in his career before making the full-time transition to relief in 2023. Still armed with a high 90 mph fastball, Pearson could be worth a flight. He has clear potential and had a solid, if not, unspectacular season in 2023.
He’s a high-octane back-end reliever waiting to happen and this seems like the perfect time to pick up a bargain. Toronto has a very good bullpen and even Pearson may not be able to break into it. A change of scenario in which he can forget about failing to actualize his prior pedigree and focus on being a dominant reliever may be just what he needs.
tampa bay rays surplus
The Rays have a stockpile of arms and each of these four pitchers could be available for the right deal. These four once unknown journeymen have exceeded expectations with the Rays and have transformed themselves from a bullpen into a weapon.
Andrew Kittredge And shaun armstrong Both are free agents after 2024 and will not re-sign with the Rays, making them ideal trade candidates. Colin Poche And jason adam Both had slightly more team control, but both are arbitration-eligible and the Rays could look to cut ties and bring in younger, more affordable options.
Finding the right fit here is important, as some Rays relievers find great success elsewhere, while others can’t replicate that magic in their new bases. The asking price will also be important as the Rays may not be overly eager to move either of them in order to move them.