The Mets lose their chance to win another Brooks Raley trade due to Tommy John surgery

The Mets lefty is out for the year and it takes away an opportunity to, at worst, win another trade involving him.
Detroit Tigers v New York Mets - Game One
Detroit Tigers v New York Mets - Game One / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Prior to the 2023 season, the New York Mets acquired lefty reliever Brooks Raley from the Tampa Bay Rays for minor league pitcher Keyshawn Askew. Raley wasn’t a well-known name. A member of the Chicago Cubs briefly in 2012 and 2013, he found himself in Korea from 2015-2019. He’d return for the 2020 season and find his way from the Cincinnati Reds to the Houston Astros. Finally, the Rays employed him in 2022 before he joined the Mets.

Raley’s Mets tenure was a hugely successful one. Pitching to a 2.80 ERA in 66 appearances in 2023, he didn’t allow any runs at all in 2024 before landing on the IL. Unfortunately, he is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery, thus ending his chance at competing with the Mets any further.

The long rehab process for Raley will have the Mets looking in a different direction in the future. Raley, who turns 36 next month, will be fortunate to pitch at all in 2025. We wish him the best in his recovery and knock our heads against a wall wishing the Mets could win with him or at least become victorious in a trade involving him this summer.

Consider the Mets the early winners in the original Brooks Raley trade

Keyshawn Askew hasn’t completely taken off with the Rays down on the farm. He pitched to a 3.99 ERA last season in 97 innings working as both a starter and reliever. Those totals came in High-A and Double-A. This year, back in Double-A again, the ERA is down to 3.18. Now only working as a relief pitcher, he has a high WHIP of 1.47, walk rate of 4.8 per 9, and has seen his strikeout totals drop to 8.5 per 9. In his career, Askew has struck opponents out at an incredible rate of 12 per 9.

Certainly capable of becoming a future stud reliever in the future for Tampa Bay, the one-for-one swap was possibly one of Billy Eppler’s better moves. In fact, if we look at the additions he made for the 2023 season, not many were better than this one.

The Mets had an opportunity to move on from Raley this offseason. However, after such a successful first year, picking up his $6.5 million option was a no-brainer decision. They did add a reinforcement with another ex-Rays pitcher, Jake Diekman. Moving forward, the Mets will rely on him and hopefully a continually reliable Josh Walker as the two main lefties out of the bullpen.