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Mets interested in right-handed reliever Juan Nicasio

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PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 25: Juan Nicasio
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 25: Juan Nicasio
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The Mets’ pursuit of bullpen help is pointing them at a lot of names including righty Juan Nicasio.

According to The New York Times’ Tyler Kepner, the Mets are looking at free agent Juan Nicasio as a possible piece for the team’s 2018 reliever squad.

As Kepner notes, the 31-year-old was worked a lot last season. He made 76 appearances (most in the National League) and pitched for three separate teams in one season. Nicasio pitched for the Pirates for most of the year before being sent to the Phillies and then being flipped to the Cardinals by the end of the season.

Throughout the 2017 campaign, Nicasio kept his ERA way under 3 at 2.61 and his WHIP at 1.078. He doesn’t give up a lot of home runs (only served up five in 72 1/3 innings pitched in 2017), and has a strike-to-walk ratio of 3.33 while striking out a batter an inning.

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Nicasio served as the Pirates’ closer for a brief time last season after that terrible bullpen had to be shuffled around by manager Clint Hurdle. The Mets aren’t going to have a set closer in 2018, but it’s nice to know a guy like Nicasio can fit right in to whatever situation he’s asked to be a part of.

Oh, and he’s also started games in the big leagues too. As a starter, Nicasio has taken the mound 86 times, but since being switched over to a reliever, his numbers have been better. It might be best for the Mets to keep him in that role for the time being.

It’ll be interesting to see what a guy like Nicasio is looking for, but if it’s within the Mets range (less than three years, and around $6-$8 million per), they might be able to make a play for him.

Next: Mets won't have a set closer in 2018

Sandy Alderson has been preaching patience, but at some point, he’s going to have to make a move. Nicasio would definitely be an upgrade in the bullpen, so hopefully he can get it done.

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