2) NY Mets should be jealous of the Marlins trading for A.J. Puk
Originally it was going to be Lucas Luetge on the Atlanta Braves roster for this spot. Then the Miami Marlins went out and traded for a guy Mets fans have been talking about for several years. A.J. Puk, the 2016 sixth overall pick, is headed to Miami in exchange for JJ Bleday.
For those curious, there is not an MLB rule where one initialized player must be dealt for another. Never put anything past Rob Manfred.
Puk is in the earlier part of his career. Last season was his coming out party. Following a dreadful albeit limited 13.1 innings in 2021, Puk found his groove in the Oakland Athletics bullpen in 2022. At 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 66.1 innings of work, he was the kind of lefty we would have loved to see in Queens last year. He struck out more than a batter per inning and didn’t have a ridiculous walk rate either.
The Mets still have just one lefty permanently placed in their bullpen. This is unlikely to change. They passed up on a reasonable deal they could’ve handed to Andrew Chafin, now a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets want the flexibility to option relievers. Puk actually does have minor league options remaining which doesn’t help the jealousy.