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NY Mets offseason grades for the major winter transactions

Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Mets
Mar 4, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Aaron Loup (32) pitches against the Washington Nationals at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Mets sign Aaron Loup to a one-year $3 million dollar deal

With Justin Wilson entering free agency, the Mets had to find a new left-handed reliever. In the National League East, there are guys like Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, and Bryce Harper who are big left-handed power bats. Having a lefty who can come in and get those guys out is extremely valuable.

The Mets tried their hardest to sign former Indians closer Brad Hand. Sandy Alderson said they might’ve claimed him off waivers if Steve Cohen was the owner at the time he was on waivers. Ken Rosenthal reported that the Mets were close with Hand, but ultimately, he decided to go to the Nationals. The Nationals gave him the chance to close, the Mets could not promise that.

The Mets pivoted to Aaron Loup and got him. They signed him to a one-year $3 million-dollar contract. I have mixed feelings about this deal.

The lefty I wanted after Brad Hand was Justin Wilson. He had pitched the last two seasons for the Mets and was one of their more trustworthy relievers. Down the stretch in 2019, Wilson and Seth Lugo both were unhittable and kept the Mets alive until the bitter end. In 2020, Wilson struggled a bit but was dominant against lefties as they slashed just .115/.207/.231 against him.

The Mets opted to go with Loup who pitched well for Tampa Bay this season. He went 3-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 25 innings pitched. The Rays have a history of getting the most out of players so can the Mets expect that kind of production? Probably not.

I would feel better about this signing if they had signed Justin Wilson or even Jake McGee in addition to Loup. I don’t love Loup being the primary left-handed reliever to try and get Freddie Freeman out in a tie game in the seventh inning.

At one-year $3 million dollars, it’s kind of hard to be mad at the move. There is no risk and he should be decent enough to make him worth that price tag. If Loup is a disaster, there are always left-handed relievers available at the deadline so the Mets could trade for one. They probably should look to do that regardless just to add another southpaw option.

Grade: C

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