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New York Mets: Five best relievers to add to the bullpen this winter

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 15: A detailed view of a Rawlings baseball sitting inside of a glove before the spring training game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets on March 15, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FL - MARCH 15: A detailed view of a Rawlings baseball sitting inside of a glove before the spring training game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets on March 15, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 02: Trevor Rosenthal #47 of the San Diego Padres celebrates after defeating the St Louis Cardinals during Game Three of the National League Wildcard series at PETCO Park on October 2, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 02: Trevor Rosenthal #47 of the San Diego Padres celebrates after defeating the St Louis Cardinals during Game Three of the National League Wildcard series at PETCO Park on October 2, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

Once upon a time, Trevor Rosenthal was a top closer in baseball. Could he regain his form in 2021 to help the New York Mets?

It might seem hard to remember, but just five years ago, Trevor Rosenthal was coming off back-to-back 45+ save seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. In fact, from 2013-2017, Rosenthal racked up 121 saves and was steadily cementing himself as a lights out closer. However, after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2017, the flame-throwing right-hander missed all of 2018 and saw himself pitch for four different teams in two seasons.

Last year, Rosenthal split time between the Kansas City Royals and the San Diego Padres, throwing 22.2 innings to the tune of a 2.22 ERA. His short stint in San Diego (10 innings) proved to be a valuable one for the Padres; Rosenthal didn’t allow an earned run, struck out 17 and only allowed 4 of the 35 batters he faced to reach base.

It was a small sample, albeit a promising one, and could provide the Mets with huge value in the 2021 season. Rosenthal was roughed up heavily in 2019, the first season back from his Tommy John surgery, compiling a whopping 13.50 ERA in 15 innings pitched. While 2019 was ugly, it also suggest that the return from a major surgery had more to do with his ineffectiveness than a diminishing of his actual stuff.

The righty’s fastball sat at an average of 98 MPH last year, which is in line with his career as Rosenthal has been known to touch up to 101 MPH. At only 30-years old, there’s still plenty of room for Rosenthal to be an impact arm in the bullpen and while he may not secure a closing role on the Mets, he’s exactly the type of power arm that could prove to be effective in the later innings of close games.

With more than two years having passed since his Tommy John surgery, Rosenthal is trending upwards and the Mets would be wise to consider signing him. According to the offseason projections, Rosenthal is set to secure the same type of two-year deal as Treinen at $14 million, which could provide incredible value at that price for the Mets.

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