The New York Mets need whatever relief pitching help they can get. Former starter Drew Pomeranz was one option for them to consider, but a four-year deal with the San Diego Padres took that opportunity away.
I’ve been checking through the list of MLB free agents this winter the same way I look in the refrigerator whenever I’m hungry. For some reason, I always look in both expecting to find something that wasn’t there before. Like the perfect snack, I’m having trouble finding the ideal free agent for the New York Mets to pursue.
This is both good and bad. The good is I think the Mets have a close to complete roster. The bad is the fact that they’re not ready to win just yet.
An area of concern for all of us is the bullpen. In which case, finding the best relievers possible is essential for this club. Last year, a new reliever emerged as a possible candidate for the team in 2020. You may know him as starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz. I prefer the relief pitcher version.
More from Rising Apple
- NY Mets News: Marcus Stroman sees “potential fit” with the Angels
- NY Mets were too “seek” and not enough “destroy” last winter
- NY Mets: 1 trade target to consider from each 100-loss team
- NY Mets: Top 12 free agents the team should look to sign this winter
- NY Mets: Jeff Wilpon’s legacy continues to plague the Amazins
Pomeranz became a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres back in 2016 and earned himself a trip to the All-Star Game. In his 17 starts for the Padres, Pomeranz went 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA. Things didn’t go as well with the Boston Red Sox following a trade deadline deal. While in Beantown, the lefty was 3-5 with a 4.59 ERA.
Luckily, Pomeranz did bounce back in 2017 with a 17-6 record and 3.32 ERA. His luck wore off, though. He posted a 6.08 ERA in 2018 and was moved to the bullpen where he struggled.
Pomeranz continued to pitch poorly in 2019 as a member of the San Francisco Giants. Then the Milwaukee Brewers acquired him and tried something new. They moved him to their bullpen and magic happened. Pomeranz became a different pitcher. Although a short sample size of just 26.1 innings, he posted a 2.39 ERA with 15.4 strikeouts per nine.
The timing was perfect for Pomeranz who hits the open market this winter. The pitching-needy Padres decided to reunite with him on a four-year deal worth $34 million. In doing so, the Mets lost out on an arm I had some hopes of seeing on the 2020 club.
The Mets currently have one reliable lefty ready for action next year, Justin Wilson. With his duties serving them best in the later innings, Pomeranz would have been someone they could use in the earlier innings possibly even in a few more frames than the average reliever. His arm has the length to start games. Much like Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, I could see him as a multi-inning threat out of the bullpen.
Pomeranz has been in the big leagues for nine seasons, but he’ll only turn 31 this November. He’s not a splashy free agent candidate. He is a guy who could have helped complete the pitching staff.
Experience is something I want to see more of in the Mets’ relief corps next year. There’s no room on the roster for any of those Four-A relievers we’ve seen shuttled between the big leagues and minors over the past three seasons. The team needs a bullpen made up entirely of guys who have done it before.
Missing out on Pomeranz was not a huge loss. The Hot Stove season is young and there are plenty of options still out there.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
As limited as his success in relief was last year, Pomeranz has at least succeeded in the big leagues. This is more than we can say about most of the arms we saw the Mets put on the mound late last year. With him now out of the picture, it’s time to look at other available pitchers for the team to target.