With the Major League Baseball season having come to an end and the offseason fully underway with some free agents already signed, we have to think about some potential new faces added to the New York Mets roster.
There are a lot of big-name free agents available and a lot that the Mets could use. There are a handful of free agents from Mets division rivals that could really help out the team for the 2023 season.
There are 3 relief pitchers in the NL East that the Mets need to steal from their rivals.
With the Mets losing a majority of their bullpen even after signing Edwin Diaz back, there are some intriguing names within the NL East the Mets should look at.
The Phillies have a quality arm and a familiar face that just became a free agent in Brad Hand. In my personal opinion, I thought the Mets should have brought him back this past season after playing the second half of 2021 in NY. He posted good numbers both with the Mets in 2021 in his limited time and this past season with the Philadelphia Phillies.
In 2021 Hand had a 2.70 ERA, a 1.275 WHIP, and 14 strikeouts in 16 games and 13.1 innings for the Mets. This past season for the Phillies he posted a 2.80 ERA, a 1.333 WHIP, and 38 strikeouts in 55 games and 45 innings. Hand will only be entering his age 33 season in 2023 so he clearly should still be effective and the Mets desperately need a left-handed pitcher. The Mets Opening Day roster this season consisted of two left-handed relief pitchers, Joely Rodriguez who is now a free agent, and Chasen Shreve who was released in the middle of the year. Neither were that effective so targeting Hand who has a good track record is extremely important.
Staying with the same team but changing the throwing arm we have David Robertson. Just like Hand, Robertson is another guy the Mets should have already acquired for this season, but in this case, Robertson would have been a trade deadline acquisition. That is beside the point now since it is done and over with, but the Mets have a fresh start now with the chance to snag him.
Robertson saw limited action in 2021 with the Tampa Bay Rays from being set back the previous year with Tommy John surgery. Robertson ended up pitching to a 4.50 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, and 16 strikeouts in 12 innings and 12 games played. This past season with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies he was much more effective with a 2.40 ERA, a 1.162 WHIP, and 81 strikeouts in 63.2 innings and 58 games. Despite 2023 being his age 38 season, Robertson showed he has something left in the tank, and with his track record, he is a player the Mets should target to steal away from the division.
The last pitcher finds us down south in Atlanta with the Braves and Kenley Jansen. Jansen may not be the same dominant shutdown closer he was in the mid-2010s with the Dodgers, but he is still an extremely effective and quality relief pitcher.
Jansen's last season in LA was 2021 and he made it a good one. He posted a 2.22 ERA, a 1.043 WHIP, and had 86 strikeouts in 69 innings and 69 games played. He took a bit of a step back this past season with the Braves but still had a respectable 3.38 ERA, a 1.047 WHIP, and 85 strikeouts in 64 innings and 65 games. Next season will be his age 35 season but just like Robertson and Hand, Jansen seems to have a lot left in the tank and has a strong track record.
With the Mets losing a majority of their bullpen to free agency, the NL East is a good spot to look for replacements. The Mets can snag some solid quality arms with good track records, and they can make their division rivals weaker by taking players away, it is a win-win situation.