February 21, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of the New York Mets bullpen workout during camp at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

MLB Trade Rumors: Mets Want Veteran Relievers


Yea, tell us something we didn’t know. Just in case you were wondering what the top priorities were for the Mets as we move closer to the July 31st non-wavier trade deadline, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that New York will be looking to add one or two veteran relievers, as well as a veteran catcher.

Yesterday, I reported the Mets’ interest in not only Ramon Hernandez, but also Kelly Shoppach of the Red Sox, and Miguel Olivo of the Mariners. Now, a little more light has been shed as to what the Mets front office is thinking as to getting bullpen help. Like virtually everyone around baseball, New York officials do feel that this 2012 team has overachieved thus far with their 46-40 record going into the All-Star break. While they still believe this organization is still a ways away from being a legitimate World Series contender, they feel that they owe it to manager Terry Collins and the rest of the team to give them a little help to see if they can contend for a Wild Card spot into the late months of the season.

There were some guidelines set by the officials; they obviously won’t be trading any of their top prospects, mainly thinking of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. It’s still early in the trading season and all the sellers in the market haven’t proclaimed themselves just yet, but the relievers that the Mets currently have on their list to inquire about include: Francisco Rodriguez, Grant Balfour, Huston Street, Brett Myers, Brandon Lyon, and Jonathan Broxton. Want to see all of their stats up against one another? Well,

here you go:

Record ERA IP K’s WHIP
Francisco Rodriguez

1-4

3.96 38.2 34 1.47
Grant Balfour

2-2

3.14

43

32 1.04
Huston Street

2-0

1.13

24

32 0.75
Brett Myers

0-3

3.34 29.2 19 1.25
Brandon Lyon

0-2

3.24 33.1 35 1.29
Jonathon Broxton

1-1

1.99 31.2 23 1.33

One would think that the two highest on the Mets’ wishlist would be Street and Broxton, with good reason. However, Street publicly called out New York bench coach Bob Geren last year, so that strained relationship leads me to believe that it will be unlikely that we’ll see Street in the orange and blue. Also, the Padres just acquired him from the Rockies over the winter and will probably be looking for a decent package for him, one that Sandy Alderson won’t be willing to supply. I talked about Broxton over the weekend and he could be a great fit for the Mets bullpen; he can throw hard and strike guys out, and has a great GO/FO ratio. He’s currently on a one-year deal with about $2 million left to earn, so he could walk after the season and Kansas City is interested in MLB ready talent.

Out of the remaining relievers on this table, only Balfour and Lyon look attractive to me. Balfour could be a good option for the Mets because he’s had experience as both a closer and a middle reliever throughout his career, and out of all the relievers they’re currently targeting, he’s the only one that has had a successful experience as a reliever in the playoffs, going to the World Series with Tampa Bay in 2008. Lyon is attractive because of his ability to strike hitters out. His K/9 rate is currently at 9.45, the highest ratio he’s ever enjoyed. He doesn’t throw incredibly hard (91.7 mph in ’12), but his average curveball speed is 76.1 mph and his changeup speed is 84.2 mph, more than enough to keep hitters off balance. Although he’s been more of a fly ball pitcher this season (0.79 GO/FO), that shouldn’t hurt him in the confines of Citi Field.

As the market develops, Alderson and the Mets will find out which relievers they have a chance to acquire at the price they’re willing to pay, and with two weeks until the deadline, there is more than enough time for plenty of action to take place, as well as some other teams that decide to sell and start working towards 2013.

Tags: Brandon Lyon Brett Myers Francisco Rodriguez Grant Balfour Huston Street Jonathan Broxton Matt Musico Mets Want Veteran Relievers MLB Trade Rumors New York Mets Rising Apple Sandy Alderson Trade Rumors