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Mets: Five steps to construct the perfect bullpen in 2021

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 5: Pitcher Jeurys Familia #27 of the New York Mets Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets pitches in an MLB baseball game in the second game of a doubleheader against the Miami Marlins on August 5, 2019 at Citi Field in the Queens borough of New York City. Mets won 5-4. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 5: Pitcher Jeurys Familia #27 of the New York Mets Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets pitches in an MLB baseball game in the second game of a doubleheader against the Miami Marlins on August 5, 2019 at Citi Field in the Queens borough of New York City. Mets won 5-4. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 04: General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen gets set to introduce Carlos Beltran as the team’s new manager during a press conference at Citi Field on November 4, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Step #4: Trade for a lefty reliever

Justin Wilson has been a solid lefty, but he is a pending free agent. Fellow southpaws Daniel Zamora and Chasen Shreve are largely irrelevant. If the Mets hope to revamp their bullpen, they will need to add another left-handed player.

Could the Mets open the checkbook and sign Britton (if available), a lefty, and address other needs? Absolutely! Will they? They’re the Mets. So realistically, no…

However, GM Brodie Van Wagenen has been proficient at orchestrating trades. This is likely the most realistic avenue for making an addition. Specifically, a player like Jake Diekman of the Royals would be an ideal target. He is a bit older (3#) and his counting stats are less than stellar. But the advanced metrics show he has pitched better than his numbers indicate. He would be a valuable addition that could be acquired at a very reasonable price.

Step #5: Clean up the remaining bullpen

If the Mets did sign Britton and add Diekman, it would almost certainly mean a departure of Betances. If Betances is able to shake off the injury rust and return to form, he may join Britton as an option for the future. However, in this scenario, he will likely be a casualty.

I’ve seen enough encouraging signs from Familia this season to retain his services moving forward. He seems to value pitching for the Mets organization. And the team can use him. If the Mets make these suggested additions, it would also make Familia one of the most dangerous 6th-7th inning options in the league.

Justin Wilson and Brad Brach are both set to enter free agency. Both have performed well enough to consider resigning. But if the team’s throughout in filling out the bullpen, neither should be overpaid by the Mets. For the record, I’d prefer Wilson if they were forced to choose.

Robert Gsellman will likely retain his role as a long reliever/spot starter. But he should not be heavily relied upon. Franklyn Kilome is the only other current bullpen member who is particularly interesting.

Players like Corey Oswalt, Walker Lockett, and Paul Sewald will likely fill out the remaining depth as needed. Though in my mind, none should automatically be included in the major league pen.

To recap, the Mets bullpen would include (on normal rest):

  • Seth Lugo as the everyday closer,
  • Edwin Diaz as the primary setup man (facing heart of the batting order in the 7th or 8th innings),
  • Blake Treinen pitching the remaining 7th or 8th inning,
  • Jake Diekman as a lefty specialist,
  • Jeurys Familia as a wildcard and injury fill-in,
  • With the remaining names battling for a spot on the major league roster.

Next. How the Mets can bolster their defense for 2021

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