Hector Santiago – LHP
Hector Santiago is a left-handed pitcher who began his career with the Chicago White Sox back in 2011. Somewhat of a journeyman reliever, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels back in 2014, who he spent two years with, and represented them in the All-Star game back in 2015.
He was traded again at the deadline during the 2016 season, this time to the Minnesota Twins, who he remained with for 2017 as well, be for he was granted free agency and returned to the White Sox on a minor league deal.
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He performed well during Spring Training with the Sox and make the Opening Day roster. To this point, Santiago had primarily been a starter for the bulk of his career but was used mostly coming out of the bullpen last year.
He finished the season with a 4.41 ERA over 102.0 innings spanning over 49 appearances (7 starts), but this stat line doesn’t accurately portray how effective he ended up being as a reliever.
In his 42 relief appearances last season, Santiago pitched a total of 69.2 innings with a 3.62 ERA and a pair of saves. Additionally, he posted a 1.15 ERA in August and a 1.98 ERA in September of last year.
He clearly became more effective as the season went along and he got more comfortable in his new role. The Mets came into the off-season needing to find relievers with low ERAs and if they left-handed, that would be a bonus.
Santiago checks off both of those boxes and comes at a much cheaper price tag than Zach Britton. If still available, the Mets should definitely bring him into Spring Training next year.