New York Mets: Five best relievers to add to the bullpen this winter
The number one ranked free agent reliever could give the New York Mets one of the most dangerous bullpens in baseball heading into 2021
The New York Mets could make waves this offseason by acquiring Liam Hendriks to round out their bullpen. While competing for a chance in October is the goal for the Mets this upcoming season, adding Hendriks would make that goal much more obtainable.
The burly Australian is coming off his second consecutive season with a sub-one ERA after having been an all-star in 2019. The right-hander received both Cy Young and MVP votes in 2020 and helped lead the Oakland Athletics to a postseason appearance.
Having spent time with Minnesota, Kansas City and Toronto, Hendricks found a home in Oakland and what’s more, he turned a corner in a serious way after the 2018 season. The peripherals suggest that the recent level Hendriks has reached in the last two seasons isn’t a total surprise. From 2015 to 2017, Hendriks had two seasons with a FIP below 3.00 and a 3.22 in 2017, which indicates he was better than his ERA suggested.
With a fiery personality and above-average stuff, Hendriks being injected into the Mets bullpen would pay dividends, not only in the regular season but the postseason as well. The Mets are trying to build a championship team and with postseason experience under his belt, Hendriks could help push the needle.
In 2020, Hendriks was touched up just slightly in the Wild Card game against Chicago, but rebounded nicely in the Divisional Series against Houston and pitched three scoreless innings. All indications point to Hendriks wanting to sign with a team that would give him an opportunity to take the ball in the ninth innings, but it’s worth wondering if the Mets are willing to move their 26-year old closer for a 31-year old, especially since Edwin Diaz has seemingly found his groove.
Regardless, those decisions could be worked around. What’s of importance is that signing Hendriks could set the Mets over the top and give them an elite backend of the bullpen that would be frightening to see in the postseason.