For what feels like the entire trade season, the New York Mets have been linked to the Minnesota Twins in some form or another.
A deal for Berríos would be the Mets going out and getting a real frontline starter, and therefore would mean sending some serious prospects back in return. There’s a legitimate argument for justifying it, as he’s probably the best available starter to help fortify the rotation for a playoff push. He’s also not just a rental, as he’s under team control through next season.
If the Mets don’t want to sell the farm though, the Twins have no shortage of pitching options who could be good additions.
A pair of struggling relievers, including one old friend, could be worth the gamble for the Mets to add to the bullpen.
This may sound like a horrible idea — and it very well might be — but Hansel Robles might not be the worst addition.
He’s by no means an exciting name to bring up, especially with his history in Queens, but he’s not having a horrible season. In 42.1 innings through Tuesday, Robles has a 4.25 ERA and 99 ERA+, so he’s been just about an average relief pitcher in 2021
He was also having a much better season until this past month, putting up an ERA of 7.04 over his last eight appearances. Until July his ERA was 3.63, which is very respectable. He also had a good 2018 and great 2019, so aside from a disastrous 16.2 innings in the shortened 2020 season, Robles has actually overall been an above-average reliever since he left the Mets.
Another option, and one that is a little bit more intriguing, is fellow pen arm Alex Colomé. The 32-year-old veteran is in the midst of what is probably the worst season of his career, pitching to a 4.64 ERA and 91 ERA+ over 35 appearances so far.
In the past though, Colomé has been one of the more consistently reliable relievers in baseball. Before this season, the only time in his career he had an ERA+ under 100 was in his rookie year, and even then it was a 99. For his career, he has a 2.95 ERA and 140 ERA+. From 2013-20, there were only 15 pitchers across baseball with at least 400 innings pitched who had a better ERA+ than Colomé.
A change of scenery could help him bounce back in the second half, especially with the adrenaline that comes with moving from a fourth-place team to a first-place one. There’s obviously risk because he’s just been flat-out bad this season, but there’s also more upside with him than with most relievers who could be available.
Robles is a free agent after this season so there’s no long-term commitment to him. Colomé has a mutual option on his deal for 2022, so there’s no long-term commitment to him either if the Mets don’t want there to be.
It also probably would take almost nothing to trade for them, seeing as in both cases the Mets would be getting a rental reliever with an ERA over four.
The Mets have been forced to use so many pitchers this season, and a lot of them were frankly just not major league caliber. Robles and Colomé haven’t been great this season, but they both have their own degrees of possible upside. Most importantly though, they are still big-league caliber arms. The Mets could use some of those.