1) NY Mets trade target David Robertson
After a couple of down years in Philly and Tampa, Houdini is back.
In 21 appearances, Robertson has pitched 23.2 innings. He’s allowed just 13 hits, five earned runs, six walks, and struck out 33 batters. His ERA is 1.90, his FIP is 2.84, his WHIP is 1.01, and his ERA+ is 226.
The difference between Robertson this year and the last two years is that no one is hitting his secondary pitches this year. His cutter is still a solid, average pitch with a run value of zero, but his curveball has a -3 run value and his slider is at -2. Hitters are hitting just .069 and slugging .172 off his curveball, and his strikeout rate on that pitch is nearly 60%. He throws his cutter 54% of the time, his curveball 24%, and his slider 22%. The velocity on all three pitches is up slightly this year.
If you want to see a pretty Baseball Savant page, this is one to check out. He’s in the 99th percentile in fastball spin and xBA, 97th percentile in xSLG, 96th percentile in xwOBA, xERA, and strikeout rate, 95th percentile in whiff rate, 94th percentile in hard hit rate, and 89th percentile in average exit velocity and barrel rate. He’s missing barrels at an incredible rate, and even when guys hit it, it’s on the ground 54% of the time.
Robertson is a free agent this offseason, so he’s another rental. I think it would be great to have him as a setup man for Edwin Diaz since he’s a completely different type of pitcher. Giving opponents two different looks in the late innings can be very effective. I also think he can be a great mentor to Drew Smith, who is another cutter/breaking ball reliever.
These are 12 relievers the Mets should target as the trade deadline approaches. Who else should they be looking at?