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Mets haven’t had much luck at the past two Winter Meetings

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: Anthony Swarzak #38 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during their game at Citi Field on July 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: Anthony Swarzak #38 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during their game at Citi Field on July 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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At this year’s Winter Meetings, the New York Mets will look to add some bullpen help. Unfortunately, they haven’t had much luck doing this at the past two Winter Meetings.

The Winter Meetings take place this year from December 8-12 in San Diego. New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen will meet with other executives to strike up some conversation and see if there are any deals to be made.

During the past two Winter Meetings, the Mets haven’t had much luck. They managed to add a relief pitcher in 2017 and another in 2018 with underwhelming results from both.

Back in 2017, the Mets were coming off a horrific regular season. Looking to bolster the roster for a more promising year, they agreed to terms with relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak at the Winter Meetings.

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The deal wasn’t officially completed for a few days after the Winter Meetings, but the conversation began during this active period of the MLB Hot Stove. Swarzak went on to pitch in only 29 games for the Mets in 2018, delivering a pitiful 6.15 ERA in his 26.1 innings of work.

A large portion of Swarzak’s time with the Mets included a stint on the DL. It didn’t take long for Van Wagenen to move him. In his first major trade, BVW packaged him together in the infamous trade to the Seattle Mariners which brought Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to New York.

The two-year deal with Swarzak was a questionable one from the start. Although he performed at a high level in 2017, his resume was far from impressive. Fortunately, his time in Flushing didn’t last the full two years.

As if that Winter Meetings free agent signing wasn’t bad enough, Van Wagenen asked Sandy Alderson to hold his beer last December when he inked Jeurys Familia to a three-year deal worth $30 million. Thus far, it has made the two-year, $14 million deal with Swarzak look like a bargain.

In his return to the Mets after a brief stint with the Oakland Athletics at the end of 2018, Familia gave the team 60 innings and a 5.70 ERA. In a reduced role from the closer’s spot where he had pitched since 2015, the veteran righty failed to live up to his contract.

There were plenty of mixed feelings about bringing Familia back to New York. On one hand, it seemed like he might be able to excel in a setup role. On the other, there was no basis for this other than wishful thinking.

Familia is under contract with the Mets for two more years. It’s incredibly unlikely he gets the Swarzak treatment. The Mets aren’t in a position to take on any more bad contracts. Plus, BVW likely wants to see this signing turn around. Swarzak wasn’t a guy he brought to town. Familia was a selection he chose.

Next. Three Mets predictions for the month of December

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At the 2019 MLB Winter Meetings, Van Wagenen will again look at the free agent relief market. Let’s hope it’s not an oh-for-three trip in as many years. If Justin Wilson’s late signing taught us anything, sometimes it’s okay to wait.

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