For both statistical and more subjective reasons, Adam Ottavino would be a great free agent target for the New York Mets this winter.
The first thing to know is that he has a career 3.41 ERA as a member of the Colorado Rockies. In 2018, it was at a career-best 2.43. The other thing you need to know about him is that he wears number 0. Any relief pitcher crazy enough to do this is worth an investment.
I kid, but I also am serious about this. What kind of thoughts does a relief pitcher have that convinces him to wear a 0? Put him in the Mets bullpen, already and make Mr. Met change his number.
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It’s clear the Mets need relief help. Ottavino is one of the better relief pitchers out there in free agency this winter. This includes those with closer qualifications. Ottavino has only a handful of saves in his life so he’s more of a setup man solution for this team to explore.
High strikeout numbers, low home run totals, and the anti-establishment attitude to wear a goose egg on his jersey have me gushing over this guy. I already adore Robert Gsellman’s carefree, slightly violent, look he has going on. Add Ottavino into the bullpen along with Seth Lugo and we’ve got ourselves a much-improved set of relievers.
Ottavino is hardly the finishing touch the Mets need. Along with him, adding a true closer to the mix is a requirement. A lefty would help round things out and give them five men they can count on.
Next year will be Ottavino’s age 33 season, which doesn’t mean much for a reliever. In fact, there’s not much to go on with them. From year-to-year, the production from these saviors of the starters is hard to predict. Ottavino was as bad in 2017 as Anthony Swarzak was good. The two swapped the reputation in 2018, and unfortunately, the Mets got the raw deal.
I expect the Rockies to make a strong push at keeping Ottavino. In recent years, they’ve come to value their bullpen. They paid big money for Wade Davis last winter and added others around him.
Ottavino won’t come to New York without testing out the free agent waters. It’s a bit of a pipe dream to see a guy coming off a good year choose them over anyone else. I fully expect some disappointment when his first trip to Citi Field in 2019 involves stepping off a team bus.
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I think I’ve been following the Mets for too long.