In order to be contenders for the 2018 season, the Mets will need to strengthen one of the most important areas in all of baseball.
Over the last couple of years, the bullpen has become the most critical part of a team’s postseason success. Each year, we’ve seen teams make a deep run in the playoffs due to the strength in numbers they have coming out of the ‘pen.
Throughout the course of the 2017 season, the bullpen was possibly the weakest area for the Mets. After trading away Addison Reed to the Red Sox, they had no reliable arms outside of Jerry Blevins. Heading into the offseason, the bullpen figures to be a centerpiece of the Mets plans.
Although Mike Puma of the New York Post reported earlier this week that the Metropolitans are unlikely to go after the big names in Greg Holland and Wade Davis. But there is still a slew of arms available on the market.
With an already solid foundation of reliever arms in Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos and Jerry Blevins the Mets have the opportunity to make this one of the stronger bullpens in all of baseball. Here are some of the free agents I would like them to show interest in:
Mike Minor, LHP. Age: 29
One of the guys I would love to see the Mets go after is Mike Minor. The former Atlanta Brave starter missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to complications from a torn labrum. This past season the Kansas City Royals turned Minor into a reliever, a role in which he excelled in. In 65 games, Minor posted a WAR of 2.8. Striking out 88 batters over 77.2 innings pitched and posting an ERA+ of 176. (For context, in 2017 Clayton Kershaw’s ERA+ was 180, 176 is really good)! It is also worth noting that Minor’s pitching coach with the Royals, Dave Eiland, was just hired by Mickey Callaway to be the new Mets pitching coach.
I think Minor would make an excellent middle relief guy for the Mets and help bridge the gap from the starter to our set up man.
Jake McGee, LHP. Age: 31
Another guy that should be on the Mets wish list is Jake McGee. McGee bounced back in a big way this past season for the Colorado Rockies. The 8-year veteran appeared in 62 games for Colorado and posted a WHIP of 1.099 while only giving up .6 home runs per 9 innings.
This would be a great addition to the Mets bullpen. He would be another left-handed option out of the ‘pen. This takes some of the stress off of Jerry Blevins as the only reliable lefty reliever.
Bryan Shaw, RHP. Age: 30
The last reliever I would like to see the Mets go after is someone who is rumored to be on their radar, Bryan Shaw.
There is a high level of familiarity between Shaw and new Mets manager, Mickey Callaway. While with the Cleveland Indians, Callaway oversaw Shaw become one of the best relievers in the business. In four seasons, Shaw on average has appeared in 77 games per year. Striking out 8.2 batters per 9 innings.
Though he is not as well known as other players in the vaunted Indians bullpen such as Cody Allen and Andrew Miller, Shaw is one of the best workhorse relievers in the game. If he were to come to New York, he would offer a dependable arm that Callaway will be able to call upon 70 to 80 games per year.
The bullpen is one place that should see significant attention from the Mets front office during free agency. It will be interesting to see who they target and how much money they will be willing to spend.