Mets expressing interest in lefty reliever Joe Thatcher
UPDATE: 10:10 PM:
According to Evan Drellich, the Astros are close to an agreement with Joe Thatcher on a minor league deal. While a deal is not done, there is an expectation that it could be completed by Friday.
According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, the Mets are one of many teams who have expressed interest in left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, who is expected to sign soon.
Aside from the Mets, the Astros, Athletics, Rangers, and a half-dozen or so other teams have Thatcher on their radar.
Thatcher, 33, had a 3.86 ERA (3.43 FIP) and 1.32 WHIP in 53 appearances (33.1 innings pitched) for the Diamondacks and Angels in 2014.
During his eight-year career, Thatcher has posted a 3.21 ERA and 1.29 WHIP while striking out 9.2 per nine.
Thatcher made $2.4 million last season.
Sandy Alderson stated earlier this offseason that the Mets would almost certainly not be adding another left-handed reliever on a major league deal, which makes their reported interest in Thatcher noteworthy.
At present, the Mets have Josh Edgin as the lone lefty expected to be in the bullpen on Opening Day.
Aside from Edgin, the club has recent Rule 5 draftee Sean Gilmartin, Scott Rice, Dario Alvarez, and perhaps Darin Gorski and Jack Leathersich as other potential left-handed options for the bullpen.
However, for one reason or another – inexperience, low upside, injury, wildness – none of the names above are viewed as anything close to a given.
Thatcher, who has held lefties to a .230/.289/.351 triple slash during his career, would provide the Mets with a second capable left-hander to pair with Josh Edgin while relegating most of the other left-handed options to the minors to serve as depth.
If the Mets signed Thatcher or another lefty reliever to a major league deal, that would probably mean the Mets would have to offer Sean Gilmartin back to the Twins (since they likely would not be able to carry him on the 25-man roster).
The Mets signing Thatcher would be a wise move. If not Thatcher, going after left-handed reliever Franklin Morales should be another option.
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