9) MLB free agent Phillies relief pitcher Brad Hand
Mets fans got to know Brad Hand briefly in 2021 when he joined up with the club for the final few weeks. He was good and definitely someone they should have heavily thought about bringing back. Instead, he got himself a one-year contract to join the Phillies. Their plan at the start of the season was to load up on players with closer experience. Hand hasn’t had a whole lot of save opportunities but he has been a wonderful performer in their bullpen this season.
An aging lefty with high-leverage experience is always coveted on the open market. Coming off of an impressive season for a team with a recent tradition of ruining relievers’ careers can help him even more. Hand is pitching this season in a ballpark that isn’t kind to pitchers. Maybe, if he’s lucky, he gets himself a multi-year contract.
The Mets would even be an option for him to return to. With no obvious candidate to become their lefty reliever for 2023-onward and plenty of open roster spots, it wouldn’t be such a bad reunion to make.
There will be competition for Hand, however. Everything from sticking in his late-inning role to maybe even getting a closer’s job again should all be on the table. He has been too good for too long to be ignored.