3) Phil Bickford
Phil Bickford is an interesting case for the Mets. He came over in a summer trade as they were subtracting from the roster. Able to make it this far into the offseason, it’s easily explainable as he’ll be another affordable arm for the bullpen. Stearns is familiar with him already. Bickford was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization and managed to scrape out an inning in 2020 and another in 2021 before getting claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Based on what we’ve been seeing Stearns do already, Bickford might be the kind of player he’d actually look to add to the team. He had an excellent 2021 season with Los Angeles after the waiver claim. In 2022 and 2023, he served as more of a mop-up guy. As long as he has those stretches of success like he did in the final month for the Mets in 2023, Bickford can be a useful pitcher in certain situations. Who else is going to pitch in blowouts with Luis Guillorme gone?
Unless the Mets swap Bickford for a player with minor league options (again, he has none), he might be worth keeping around. His advantage over Reid-Foley is that he has pitched significantly more in the big leagues and had some consistent success.
Working against him could be the fact that Stearns has DFA’d him in the past.