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NY Mets: Five free agents to return the pitching staff to prominence

Sep 22, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 22, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – AUGUST 31: Alex Colome #48 and James McCann #33 of the Chicago White Sox celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in the game at Target Field on August 31, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 8-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

RHP Alex Colomé leaves the “Windy City” for Flushing, Queens

Although it was evident to Mets fans that RHP Dellin Betances struggled to find his form throughout the course of the shortened 2020 season, that does not mean 2021 cannot be a bounce-back year for the Bronx native.

However, in a season where so much depends on the Mets bullpen to reach the postseason, the front office needs to put their money toward relievers who are as close to a ‘sure thing’ as possible. And Alex Colomé’s dominance over the course of his eight-year career fits that description.

Entering next season, the 32-year old Colomé is set to become an unrestricted free agent, which makes him the perfect high-cost reliever to replace Betances (money-wise) in the Mets bullpen; especially with Betances’ salary dropping from $10.5 million to $6.8 million after exercising his 2021 player option to stay with the team next year.

Dating back to the middle of the 2018 season, Colomé has struck out 143 batters in his last 150.4 IP by relying heavily on his Cutter and Four-seam Fastball. This past season was perhaps his best performance, as he posted a 0.81 ERA in 22.1 IP along with one of the lowest opponent batting-averages of .163.

More importantly, this move would officially push Edwin Díaz out of the closer role and present Cohen with a unique opportunity to move Díaz to the set-up role, or shop around the former 2018 AL Reliever of the Year.

While Díaz’s ongoing struggles to find consistency in the closer role has been obvious to frustrated Mets fans since his first relief appearance wearing orange and blue, this switch could help him find success in a less-pressured spot in the game. Conversely, trading him could also present the Mets with an opportunity to recoup some of what was lost in the bad deal they made to acquire him two years ago.

Either way, with Edwin Díaz and Jeurys Familia slated to return in some capacity, it would behoove the Mets to sign Colomé if they feel Betances cannot rebound in 2021.

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