3) Former NY Met who failed in 2022: Aaron Loup
Loup was arguably the Mets’ best asset in 2021 – that’s how good he was coming out of the bullpen. The lefty had a career year, with a miniscule 0.95 ERA in just under 57 innings. No Mets pitcher had ever had an ERA that small in as many innings before.
Those numbers translated into a big payday for Loup, but not with the Mets. Loup signed early in the offseason with the Los Angeles Angels for two years and $17 million – a significant jump from his $3 million salary with the Mets.
As 2022 started, many observers – including at least one contributor here – believed that letting Loup walk was a big mistake on the Mets’ part, especially since the team failed to add a high-leverage left hander to the bullpen in his place. And while a lack of left-handed depth did hurt the Mets at times, Loup did not exactly find success on the west coast either.
Despite a nearly identical workload (58 2/3 innings) to the prior year, Loup regressed to a 3.84 ERA in 2022. While he wasn’t necessarily terrible against left-handed batters (.637 OPS against), it paled greatly in comparison to his performance with the Mets (.440 OPS against).
Perhaps the regression wouldn’t have been as dramatic had he re-signed with the Mets – and perhaps it would have made a difference in the Mets’ fortunes down the stretch. But at such a high cost, the value Loup carried with him from 2021 just never quite materialized in 2022.