Mets could make bullpen help a priority in free agency this offseason

By Emmanuel Pepis
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 15: Relief pitcher Hansel Robles
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 15: Relief pitcher Hansel Robles /

There are many needs for 2018, but the Mets could be focusing on relief pitching help first this winter

According to Matt Ehalt of, the New York Mets will make it a priority to improve the bullpen once the offseason hits. The Mets focused heavily on potential future bullpen help during their summer offloading of veterans and acquisition of AJ Ramos

In a word, the Mets’ bullpen has been dreadful this season. Going into next year, the obvious three of Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, and Ramos are the only locks to begin the 2018 season in the Mets’ bullpen. The other spots are up for grabs which may determine who the Mets look at in free agency.

Do the Mets target guys who can gobble up innings as bridges? Or do they try to fortify the backend even more with stronger power arms? There are multiple directions the team can go in figuring out who will be on the 2018 Opening Day roster. There is also competition from within.

Jacob Rhame and Jamie Callahan were both brought over in trades and are being given auditions in September. Paul Sewald has endured a first season in the big leagues of ups and downs. Josh Smoker and Hansel Robles have gone through seasons they would surely soon like to forget. It’s still early to even speculate who the Mets would target with the money saved through summer trades.

The only thing that’s certain, deciphering Sandy Alderson’s words, is that as he put it, “lots of people we can sort through with that cornerstone of three and then we’ll look and see what’s available in the offseason as well.”

In 2017, the Mets’ bullpen is among the last five in hits allowed, ERA, walks, home runs, opponent batting average. The Mets weren’t blessed with a lot of hard throwers in their bullpen throughout this year, which makes this next stat more telling. Their ground ball-fly ball percentage is tied for sixth worst among all bullpens. Couple that with the second-lowest fastball velocity among any bullpen this season.

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It will be interesting to see which reliever(s) the Mets will target in free agency, but two things are for certain: there are several options and the competition is currently wide open.