The New York Mets need bullpen help to compete in 2020. These five names would be a huge help.
For a number of years, the biggest problem the New York Mets have had has been their bullpen production. Since 2017, the Mets have the second-highest bullpen ERA at 4.92, ranking only in front of the Orioles at a 5.01.
Because of this, Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen decided to trade away top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to the Mariners in exchange for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano back in the 2018-2019 offseason. The main motivation of this trade was to finally get that lockdown closer the Mets had been missing.
Unfortunately, this trade has been a complete and utter disaster for the Mets. Edwin Diaz following an outstanding 2018 season in which he recorded 57 saves and had a 1.96 ERA has been just downright awful for the Mets. In 2019 he recorded just 26 saves and had a 5.59 ERA. The big issue with Diaz was the home run ball. He gave up 15 home runs, all of them in the ninth inning which set a record for the most home runs in the ninth inning against a single reliever.
The rest of the bullpen hasn’t fared much better. The best arm in the pen the Mets have is Seth Lugo. He’s coming off of a great 2019 season and can give the Mets multiple innings out of the pen. The only problem is that Lugo is pitching with a partially torn UCL. Because of this, when Lugo goes multiple innings, he is generally not able to be used on back-to-back days.
The Mets bullpen also has guys like Jeurys Familia and Dellin Betances. Familia is coming off of an awful 2019 in which he pitched to a 5.70 ERA and Betances pitched only recorded 2 outs in 2019 due to a shoulder injury and a torn Achilles.
The Mets bullpen certainly has the potential to be great, but that has not been the case so far in the 2020 season. Already the Mets have blown a number of games they should have won, most notably a game in Atlanta which they had an 8-2 lead in and the bullpen let get away. Some days guys look sharp, other days they don’t.
The bottom line is this bullpen needs help and needs it fast. These five relievers can make a huge impact on a run to the postseason for the Mets in 2020.
The National League leader in saves in 2019 is an excellent trade target for this Mets team that desperately needs help closing out games. Yates, 33, had a 1.19 ERA, 41 saves, and struck out 15 batters per nine innings. It was an outstanding season for the Padres closer.
Fortunately for the Mets, he’s in a contract year. Because of this, a team that isn’t a World Series contender for this season like the Padres might be willing to give him up to try to get value for him.
Also, the Padres just traded for Emilio Pagan this past offseason. Pagan is younger and has more team control. He can certainly fill in to be their closer, and they also have solid arms like Craig Stammen and Drew Pomeranz.
I also believe the Mets won’t have to give up a top prospect since Yates will be a rental. While he is not someone I would like them to extend long term, he is certainly an upgrade this bullpen needs for this season.