NY Mets need to sign Brad Hand more than ever right now
It’s more important than ever for the New York Mets to sign Brad Hand.
After a poor performance by the New York Mets bullpen in the last couple of seasons, they are in desperate need of adding to it. They added right-hander Trevor May earlier this offseason and it is rumored that Seth Lugo will be returning to the bullpen instead of the rotation in 2021. Even with those two additions the Mets still need to prioritize adding left-hander Brad Hand.
Hand is coming off a 2020 season that saw him pitch to a 2.05 ERA, a 0.773 WHIP, with 29 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 22 innings pitched while leading the league with 16 saves. There is no question that Hand is a top relief pitcher in the game with his production this past season and even his previous ones.
Sandy Alderson said that if he and Steve Cohen were in control of the Mets at the time of Hand’s placement on waivers, they might have picked him up. This says a lot about what the Mets think of Hand as they were willing to pick up the $10M owed to him for the 2021 season.
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In addition to Alderson thinking highly of Hand, the Amazin’s most recent trade for superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor and veteran starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco tells fans and the rest of the league that they mean business.
The Mets went out and got arguably the best shortstop in the league and a solid starting pitcher that the Mets were lacking with only Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman locks for the Opening Day rotation.
Outside of the fact that the Mets seem to be very high on Hand and that they mean business with their moves so far this offseason, they only have two left-handed relief pitchers on the 40-man roster with Daniel Zamora and Stephen Tarpley.
No disrespect to Zamora or Tarpley, but if the team expects to have a strong bullpen going forward, they are going to need more than those two as their lefty options.
Zamora only has 17.2 innings pitched in his big league career, and he did not even pitch in the big leagues this past season. Tarpley has more experience with 44.2 innings pitched in his career, including experience this past season, but he also has a 6.65 ERA in those 44.2 innings. With the Mets only having those two as left-handed relief pitchers on the 40-man roster, they are in desperate need of an experienced lefty that can be productive.
While they do have Steven Matz and Jerry Blevins they could slot in the bullpen as well, they still need someone they can rely on. Matz has been extremely inconsistent in his career and is coming off his worst season to date. With fireballer Noah Syndergaard out until possibly mid-summer, they might give Matz another shot in the rotation. Blevens was signed to a minor league deal and is not currently on the 40-man roster, and he has not pitched since 2019 so he cannot be relayed on either.
With the Washington Nationals most recent signing of big left-handed slugging outfielder Kyle Schwarber, it makes the need for a legitimate left-handed relief pitcher even that much more important.
The NL East has plenty of other big left-handed bats the Mets bullpen will have to worry about late in games in addition to the Nationals new slugger. Schwarber’s new teammate Juan Soto is one of the best hitters in the sport, the Atlanta Braves have first baseman Freddie Freeman, the Philadephia Phillies have outfielder Bryce Harper, and even the Miami Marlins have outfielder Corey Dickerson who can still rake.
It is clear that the Mets are in desperate need of a solid lefty relief pitcher. With the addition of Hand, the Mets not only get that solid lefty they need but it also strengthens their bullpen drastically as a whole.
The clear need for a lefty relief pitcher and Alderson’s interest in Hand makes it so they must find a way to sign him. With the recent trade for Lindor and other big signings this offseason, the Mets are showing that they are not messing around, if they go out and sign one of the best relief pitchers on the market, it will show that even more. With all the big lefty hitters in the division, it is all that more important that Hand ends up in Queens for the 2021 season now.
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