The New York Mets made some less notable moves this winter which could have resounding positive effects on the future.
The biggest splash the New York Mets made this winter was the one that brought in a relief pitcher who missed almost all of last season. The one-year deal Brodie Van Wagenen signed Dellin Betances to is by far the most hyped addition. I can understand why.
The Mets needed some obvious bullpen upgrades. Betances not only does this, but he also gives the Mets a clear route to go in the ninth inning if Edwin Diaz has a repeat season.
In addition to adding Betances, the Mets made a few quieter transactions that I think are a little underrated. Let’s explore them and why they will benefit the team in 2020 and possibly beyond.
Re-signing Brad Brach
Brad Brach’s arrival to Flushing last year had fans excited. Not long ago, he was one of the best relievers in the American League. While nobody expected him to put up the numbers he did with the Baltimore Orioles during their winning days in the earlier part of the decade, there was some belief he’d at least perform better than he did with the Chicago Cubs.
Fortunately, Brach did improve the bullpen. In a limited sample, he managed to pitch to a 3.68 ERA. He became a guy Mickey Callaway could turn to late in games to at least keep the team in the game.
Because of the way the rest of the bullpen lines up for 2020, there’s a chance we see Brach fill a role where he starts the year as more of an innings eater than anything else. If everyone plays to the back of their baseball card, he’ll have a tough time elevating his status.
Injuries and slumps are inevitable, though. Eventually, we could see Brach pitching far more important innings and setting things up for what we believe is this team’s back-end relievers for the year.
Brach won’t be an All-Star in 2020, but he may give this team a more trustworthy bullpen. In short, he’ll save us from months of watching guys who belong in Triple-A step on the mound and get blasted.