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12 relievers the Mets should target ahead of the trade deadline

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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9) NY Mets trade target Tyler Kinley

Tyler Kinley is a solid, reliable middle-relief arm.

In 25 appearances for the Rockies, Kinley has pitched 24 innings. He’s allowed 21 hits, just two earned runs, six walks, and struck out 27 batters. His ERA is 0.75, his FIP is 1.76, his WHIP is 1.13, and his ERA+ is a stupid 635. 

Kinley isn’t as dominant as his ERA and ERA+ would lead one to believe. He strikes out a little more than a batter per inning at 10.1 K/9 and he’s in the 77th percentile in strikeout rate. He doesn’t walk that many batters at 2.3 BB/9 and he’s in the 75th percentile in walk rate. His downside is that he gives up a lot of hits at 7.9 H/9. The good news about that is that much of it is on the ground, with nearly 40% of his batted balls being on the ground.

The righty excels at limiting optimal contact. He is in the 98th percentile in barrel rate, 94th percentile in xwOBA and xERA, 93rd percentile in xSLG, 87th percentile in whiff rate, and 83rd percentile in xBA. He does give up a lot of hard contact, with his only blue dot being his hard hit rate at 28%, but since he gets a lot of ground balls, those hard hits aren’t leading to damage.

Kinley is essentially a two-pitch pitcher. He throws his slider 52% of the time and his four-seamer 46% of the time. He has a sinker and changeup, but if you combine the usage on both of them, it’s under 2%. His slider has a run value of -4, thanks to opponents hitting .196 and slugging .216 against it. His fastball is also good, with a run value of -2.

He has two years of control remaining before becoming a free agent in 2025. This would be somewhat of a gamble because he doesn’t have a track record of performing like this (career ERA of 4.44), but maybe Hefner can figure out how to keep Kinley on top of his game.

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