1 small yet regrettable Mets trade they should be kicking themselves for making

The Mets' bullpen is in disaray and could have used this quality veteran arm.
Feb 25, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA;  New York Mets pitcher Austin Adams warms-up in the
Feb 25, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Austin Adams warms-up in the / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have already made changes to their roster since opening day. David Stearns has made some additions such as signing Julio Teheran, cutting him loose the next day, and selecting the contracts of Dedniel Nunez and Cole Sulser to help in the bullpen. Other players have been designated for assignment given their lackluster performances like Yohan Ramirez and Michael Tonkin. All of this has occurred while we await the arrival of J.D. Martinez to give the offense a potential boost in production.

The real question marks can be better traced to the finalization of this season's opening-day roster. The most obvious is sending Mark Vientos to AAA Syracuse in favor of Zack Short and D.J. Stewart, who have combined for just two hits across the first nine games. While we can make an argument for the offense eventually finding its rhythm, the bullpen aside from Edwin Diaz and Brooks Raley has left much to be desired. Among the plethora of relief pitching cuts during spring training, which one would Stearns like to have back the most?

Austin Adams getting purchased by the Oakland Athletics was Stearns' biggest mistake

The Mets held onto a couple of their spring training invites they signed away or traded for from other organizations. Ramirez was acquired from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations and made the team after having a great spring training. Tonkin was the other arm who was signed to just a one-year contract. However, neither player showed any potential in their first few outings and has been cut in favor of other spring training tryouts.

The player Stearns should have held onto was right-hander Austin Adams. His spring training numbers are not spectacular, posting a 5.40 ERA in 6.2 innings pitched. He did strike out 13 batters and only allowed 7 hits with one walk, meaning he was allowing hard contact. On the other hand, veteran players who had great spring showings like Ramirez and Tonkin are already proving this means very little once the season starts.

Since leaving the Mets, Adams has become an integral part of the Oakland Athletics' bullpen. He's only allowed one unearned run in 3.2 innings pitched while striking out six and issuing one walk. His five appearances have come in high-leverage situations, meaning the A's trust the 33-year-old to get outs when it matters the most. For a Mets bullpen that bent and almost broke multiple times including against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, they could use a quality arm in Adams right now.