The saddest part of the New York Mets depth chart right now is in the bullpen. There are plenty of holes remaining. Already, with MLB free agency only a few days old, options are becoming more limited.
Relief pitchers are getting new contracts. Although the Mets wisely locked up Edwin Diaz before he could explore other jobs, there is a lot more work left for Billy Eppler to do.
It’s not inconceivable to expect the Mets to actually sign three of the better relief pitchers out there. It’s these three who should be at the top of the list. They are “musts” for Buck Showalter’s bullpen.
1) The Mets can’t make the Andrew Chafin mistake again
Somewhere, probably in the Saskatoon Prairies, is the World’s Biggest Drum. I’d like to visit it and bang loudly while shouting “The Mets need to sign Andrew Chafin.”
This has been a running theme for the ball club since Chafin was available last offseason. Through the lockout and until he eventually agreed to a deal with the Detroit Tigers, he was a target nearly every Mets fan desired. He chose to opt out of his contract for 2023. It’s time for Eppler to pounce.
Chafin was 2-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 57.1 innings of work last year. This coming season will be his age 33 campaign which doesn’t give him much permanency with the Mets. A two-year deal is probably what we’d be looking at.
Despite not really falling onto our radar until recently, he does have a lifetime 3.23 ERA. His early days with the Arizona Diamondbacks were very good. This veteran lefty reliever seems to have gotten even better since. In fact, other than a poor 22.2 innings in 2016 and whatever the 9.2 frames he had in 2020 was, Chafin has never had a season ERA over 4.00.
He’s a consistent lefty the Mets must have.
In the immortal words of every kid in the toy aisle: “I want it. I want it. I want it.”