The New York Mets didn’t set out to acquire an abundance of former New York Yankees players and yet here we are with an offseason so far headlined by adding Luis Severino to the rotation and Harrison Bader to the outfield. Reactions to these additions have been, for the most part, positive. Severino is a bounceback candidate while Bader gives the Mets elite defense in center field. They come with some doubts. Severino hasn't been particularly good or healthy for several years. The same goes for Bader.
There is one more former Yankees player the Mets should consider to complete the trifecta. Still out there in free agency is a fit for a spot on the roster they have yet to address. Free agent lefty reliever Wandy Peralta spent 2+ seasons with the Yankees. He was effective and should absolutely be on the Mets’ list of players to get in touch with.
Wandy Peralta should be the next former Yankees player the Mets sign
The simple statistics and some of the more advanced analytics work in Peralta’s favor—at least from his days with the Yankees. In his 153 innings pitched there, Peralta went 10-9 with a 2.82 ERA. The ERA was incredibly consistent, ranging from 2.72-2.95.
Peralta isn’t a strikeout pitcher (7.6 per 9 career/7.8 per 9 with the Yankees) and he can get himself into trouble with walks (4.1 per 9 career/3.8 per 9 with the Yankees). However, players just don’t hit him very often. When they do, they aren’t hitting him very hard.
A lifetime hard-hit percentage against him of only 33.1% is significantly less in comparison to the 38.8% of MLB averages. A fantastic groundball pitcher with a career percentage of 51.9% versus the league at 43.1%, we can see why he was able to survive in the Bandbox in the Bronx.
Hitters slashed just .190/.319/.323 against him last season. The only true negative mark against him were the 5 walks per 9 he allowed. As frustrating as free passes can be, they’re much easier to stomach than a line drive into the gap.
The need for a second lefty in the Mets bullpen is there behind Brooks Raley, the club’s current lone gunman. Dreams of Josh Hader have always been preposterous. The far more realistic option has always been a player like Peralta whom skipper Carlos Mendoza already knows well.
Peralta won’t dazzle nor will he escape consecutive outings without allowing someone to reach base. What he has done well is prevent runs. Even before joining the Yankees, Peralta tasted success in stints with the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. Maybe a bit more costly than some of the other free agent relievers David Stearns has added, securing a second southpaw will have a markup no matter who it is. Make it someone the manager knows and the numbers suggest would be a match.