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NY Mets News: A kinder, gentler, not such a machine gun Brad Hand

Aug 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Brad Hand (52) delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox during the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Brad Hand (52) delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox during the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
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Thank your lucky stars Brad Hand has only now joined the New York Mets. One of the guys we knew this front office wanted to pick up over the winter, the Mets finally added him to the roster just in time for September. I have a cabinet of puns I had hoped to use. Fortunately, Aaron Loup’s name gave me some joy.

Because he didn’t join the club until after August 31, Hand is ineligible for any playoff run the Mets might go on. It might not be such a bad thing either. Based on the way he performed with the Toronto Blue Jays, Hand could be nothing more than a warm body.

The Mets will learn with Brad Hand if it’s better to burn out than to fade away

Hand began his 2021 season as a member of the Washington Nationals where he went 5-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 21 saves. A part of their massive summer sell-off, he ended up getting unloaded in a trade to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Since joining them, Hand took a dramatic leap backward. The three-time All-Star closer was 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in 8.2 innings of work. Having seen enough, Toronto designated him for assignment which then made him available to the rest of the league to claim.

Up until his struggles with the Blue Jays, Hand was one of the best relievers in the game. Since becoming a full-time reliever in 2016, he managed to save 104 games while pitching to a 2.70 ERA. This is what he came into the 2021 season with. He’ll be leaving with possibly his worst season on record since the early days with the Miami Marlins.

Hand surely won’t save the Mets in any capacity. Having made it this far with Loup as the main lefty out of the bullpen, one could argue it wasn’t even a need.

Then again, I tell myself the same thing with each dessert. Nobody needs a brownie. When it’s there staring you in the face, much like Hand was with his availability to the Mets, you have to chomp down.

Can Brad Hand keep on rockin’ in the free world?

At 31, we shouldn’t exactly expect Hand to have fallen completely off the flattest side of the earth. A brief bad run with the Blue Jays doesn’t scare me. Even some not-so-stupendous numbers with the Nationals barely cause me to break out a sweat.

His overall season numbers now include a 4.21 ERA which isn’t half-bad for a major league reliever who has very recently pitched much better. Twilight may have already hit his career but pitching half of his games at Citi Field could be a nice antidote.

Mets fans all over seem to understand what this move represents. It’s a chance they had to take. It could be so inconsequential that we completely forget he ever pitched for the team.

Next. Do the Mets need Buck Showalter?

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Alternatively, this has a chance to be one of the greatest transactions in September history. A little help from his teammates is needed to ensure the latter.

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