Mets haven’t ruled out signing a free agent reliever
By JT. Teran
The Mets still need some bullpen help for the 2017 season, and Spring Training is getting closer and closer.
Even though it’s likely we’ll see Zack Wheeler start the year in the pen, New York still has a lot of unresolved questions that we’re hoping get answered soon.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson acknowledged some of these gaps in the roster, and gave us some insight as to how he sees things going forward.
ESPN’s Adam Rubin quoted Alderson as referring to the current free agent market as “slow” or “non-existent.” This is one of the reasons the team is now reconsidering whether or not to trade an outfielder like Jay Bruce.
If you’re worried that keeping a salary like Bruce’s on the payroll would hinder more moves, the Mets’ GM wants you to know that’s not the case. Alderson was quoted as saying the payroll is “tolerable,” and that signing another bullpen arm is not dependent on them offloading a contract like Bruce’s. If the right deal presents itself, it looks like the Mets are comfortable spending a little more money, thankfully.
Sandy also agreed that the Mets don’t have a proven lefty out in the bullpen yet. However, from the other side of the rubber, he’s fairly confident in what the team could get out of guys like Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Gabriel Ynoa, and Rafael Montero.
Keeping the bullpen theme going, Alderson also touched base on Jeurys Familia and his uncertain future. The general manager said he is still unaware of MLB’s timeframe regarding a decision to suspend Familia for his involvement in a late October/early November domestic altercation.
No new development has come up on this front since Familia’s case was dropped and the arrest was scrubbed off the record. Many, including Familia’s attorney, believe this could suggest a less punishment, if any, for the Mets closer in 2017.
Next: Mets to play Army in West Point to close out Spring Training
It sounds like the hot stove may be close to heating up again soon. At least, that’s what we’re hoping. It’s been so dead these last couple of weeks that we’ll literally take anything at this point. We’ll find out soon enough as the Mets have their pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie is just under 31 days.