Alex Claudio? Mike Montgomery? A reinvented David Peterson moved to the bullpen? The New York Mets are missing one piece to the puzzle. It’s a left-handed relief pitcher.
Andrew Chafin will not be the guy to take on the role. Nor will it be Brad Hand. Jake Diekman has a contract, too. The well of free agent lefty relievers is drying up. We’re left with what we already have on the roster or a tier that isn’t up to par with the other additions the team made this offseason.
What will the Mets do to find a southpaw for their bullpen?
The Mets have a need for a lefty reliever and no obvious solution
The Mets could make a trade for a lefty reliever. Where do we find him?
Only a handful of teams are in sell mode. The Cincinnati Reds and Oakland Athletics are selling harder than anyone else. The Reds only had Amir Garrett (now on the Royals) and the Athletics don’t seem to have any answers still with the team.
Turning elsewhere, there are certain teams we shouldn’t expect to hold on too tightly to a middle reliever. Teams like the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t selling nor are they buying. They’re in baseball purgatory. A quick look at their rosters, I’m not so sure anyone on any of those rosters looks like much of an improvement over any random free agent lefty or even a guy the Mets already have under contract.
The number of miles on an arm like Andrew Miller would frighten your neighbor that brags about the decrepit car he has had for 30 years. He’s a last resort sort of option the Mets may end up having to add. The same could be said of Tony Watson, a fine reliever for many years but getting up there in age and innings pitched.
The search for a left-handed reliever was one we knew the Mets would be on from the start of the offseason. Brad Hand and Aaron Loup each reached free agency. Bringing back both made sense for the team.
With the free agency pool drying up and Opening Day approaching, it remains an obvious need for the team.
What does Billy Eppler have up his sleeve?