12 relievers the Mets should target ahead of the trade deadline

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs
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2) NY Mets trade target David Bednar

David Bednar has figured it out in Pittsburgh. 

Bednar has made 25 appearances and pitched 31.2 innings. The Pirates have been using him as a closer, with 20 games finished and 11 saves. He’s allowed just 18 hits, four earned runs, seven walks, and struck out 42 batters. His ERA is 1.14, his FIP is 1.97, his WHIP is 0.79, and his ERA+ is 370.

Bednar is the best reliever on this list so far in terms of keeping runners off base. He’s only allowed 5.1 H/9, he’s only allowed 2 BB/9 with a walk rate in the 76th percentile, yet he’s also a dominant strikeout pitcher 11.9 K/9. He also has an insane K/BB ratio of 6:1.

The righty throws three pitches. He’s throwing his fastball 56% of the time, followed by his curveball 29% of the time, and his changeup the remaining 15%. His fastball sits around 97 miles per hour, which is in the 90th percentile. 

Bednar is in the 98th percentile in strikeout rate, 97th percentile in xBA, 95th percentile in xwOBA and xERA, 94th percentile in whiff rate, 79th percentile in xSLG, and 76th percentile in walk rate. He does give up hard contact (16th percentile in average exit velocity and hard hit rate) but he allows so few baserunners that it’s not doing any damage.

He is 27 years old and comes with four years of control. Next year is team control, followed by three years of arbitration. The control, his relative youth compared to most of the relievers available, and his success will lead to a hefty price tag, but he’s worth it.