The New York Mets had a couple of projects to get done this winter. They added Max Scherzer to bolster the rotation. They signed three position players to upgrade third base, one of the corner outfield spots, and center field. The team did some serious damage before the lockout began.
When the two sides agree to disagree, we should expect the Mets to get back into action. Their roster is better but there’s one free agent out there they could use more than anyone else.
Free agent lefty reliever Andrew Chafin is a must for the Mets
Losing Aaron Loup hurt but it’s easy to overcome. The team could just as well get even more from free agent southpaw Andrew Chafin next season.
In parts of eight big league seasons, Chafin has delivered a 3.30 ERA. A large portion of his career took place as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks where he quietly had regular success until the 2020 season.
Chafin was able to rebound from the terrible shortened season and become one of the game’s best relievers last season. As we were all caught up in watching Loup do some historic things, Chafin was pitching to a 1.83 ERA as a member of the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics.
The approach the Mets took this winter was to sign all of the best players they possibly could to fit their needs. Chafin fits into this narrative. Among the remaining free agent relievers with little to no closer experience, he fits what the orange and blue need most.
The Mets have been fortunate in two of the last three seasons to pluck a lefty reliever out of free agency and watch him excel. Prior to Loup’s historic year in 2021, we saw Justin Wilson pitch very well in 2019. Not nearly as notable, it was still a 2.54 ERA season. He followed it up with a 3.66 ERA performance the following year, giving him a 2.91 ERA in 58.2 total innings for the club.
Nobody out there fits in more with this streak than Chafin. Yes, he might not be nearly as productive as he was last year. Nobody should expect him to.
Although the Mets could use another arm for the rotation and possibly even a bat on the roster, signing Chafin is so obviously the next move the team needs to make.