The New York Mets have work to do with their bullpen. Among the options, it looks like there are only four players guaranteed to have a spot. This leaves them with four other openings to address with internal and external choices.
Using the players they already have, let’s attempt to build the best Mets bullpen possible.
4 Mets relievers in the back of the bullpen
The four guarantees are the four we’d like to see in the back of the bullpen. This list includes Edwin Diaz, David Robertson, Brooks Raley, and Drew Smith. Only Smith has minor league options remaining. Compared to many of the other players on the 40-man roster, he’s much better and should have a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Tylor Megill can have two kinds of roles in the Mets bullpen
The Mets are probably going to end up with at least one starting pitcher in the bullpen to begin the year. I’m choosing Tylor Megill over David Peterson. As much as I do like Peterson, he was far too effective as a starting pitcher last year. As unfair as it may be, I’d use him the same exact way as the sixth starter. He’ll get plenty of innings. To kick off the season, Megill is in the bullpen instead. Each does have minor league options so perhaps we can swap them every once in a while if the Mets care to try something different.
This could be the last chance for Stephen Nogosek
Stephen Nogosek was good out of the Mets bullpen last year. He is out of minor league options which means he either makes it on the Opening Day roster or he gets DFA’d. I like to think he makes it. Partly because we’ve already seen him pitch, he gets the selection over a few others.
Elieser Hernandez becomes the new Mets long-man
While Tylor Megill may go multiple innings, Elieser Hernandez should be the optimal choice to come into the game early when the starter is getting shelled. Save Megill for situations where there is an injury and the Mets still have a shot at it or Buck Showalter needs two quality innings late in the game. Hernandez is more for mopping up. Megill should have the multi-inning ability to prevent runs and maybe win the game.
Mets Rule 5 Draft pick Zach Greene should get a chance
The Mets will have to be unhappy with Zach Greene in camp to send him back to the New York Yankees. He’ll be on the roster bubble all year long. As part of the Rule 5 Draft, the Mets can’t send him down to the minors. I’m curious to see what he can offer. The Mets can always change their mind if it doesn’t work out. Just as important, we all want to see if he lives up to his agent's promise.
Looking at these eight, we definitely see room for improvement. Beyond the main four, the Mets can stash Megill or Hernandez in the minors and go with a more traditional reliever. One of them should remain for length.
Nogosek and Greene could be improved upon as well, but we shouldn’t expect it. The Mets will be wise to have roster spots with minor league options. There’s a spot left to improve. From what they already have, this one way to start the year.