Sell Phil Bickford and his strong finish in 2023
How confident are we that Phil Bickford even makes it to Opening Day with the Mets? The one player on the roster who didn’t avoid the possibility of arbitration, it’s very likely we see him traded or designated for assignment or both. Following a terrible August where he got lit up to the tune of a 7.36 ERA in 14.2 innings of work, Bickford seemed to figure it out down the stretch.
The September/October numbers, on the other hand, looked promising. Bickford gave up only a single earned run in his 10.2 innings for an ERA of 0.84 in those final weeks. Do we buy into this? Absolutely not.
Bickford’s entire 2023 season was like this. Monthly ERAs were 3.97, 9.20, 3.86, 1.59, 7.36, and finally 0.84. Much of the year was spent with the Los Angeles Dodgers where he had an overall ERA of 5.14. With the Mets, it dropped to only 4.62. Combined he was at 4.95 which just isn’t good enough to remain in contention for a roster spot no matter how promising of an ending there was.
Bickford can surprise us and make the Mets Opening Day roster. However, he’ll be on the DFA bubble from the start. He was far too inconsistent in his first month with the Mets and for his time with the Dodgers earlier in the year.