The New York Mets finally found some outside bullpen help minutes before the trade deadline on Tuesday, as they acquired relief pitcher Mychal Givens from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Class-A reliever Saul Gonzalez.
It took a really long time for the Mets to find a match, and after several targets came off the board, the Mets finally got more depth for their bullpen. Givens is 6-2 with a 2.66 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 19 walks in 40.2 innings pitched with Chicago.
Givens' peripherals this season have been, for the most part, very good, and he's been great recently.
Givens ranks in the 86th percentile in both strikeout rate at 29.7 and expected batting average against at .201. His average exit velocity is 87.8 miles per hour and a hard hit rate of 34.7 percent, which is above average, and his on-base and slugging percentage against rank in the 72nd percentile. However, his walk rate is well below average, walking 11.1 percent of opposing hitters.
Givens hasn't given up an earned run over his past 16 outings dating back to June 16, going 17.1 straight scoreless innings, giving up just six walks in the process with 20 strikeouts. So this is a solid pickup option for the Mets.
Givens also has familiarity with Buck Showalter, as he was part of his bullpen with the Orioles from 2015-18. So he joins Tommy Hunter as former Orioles Showalter guys in the Mets bullpen. He stayed with the Orioles until August 2020 when he was dealt to the Rockies, and then split time between the Rockies and Reds last year, and he signed a 1-year deal with the Cubs this offseason before being dealt to the Mets in a last minute trade on Tuesday.
Givens has six wins this season, but his two losses were in the extra inning doubleheader sweep on July 16 against the Mets, allowing three unearned runs (two free runners). So the Mets were the only team that beat him this season.
Meanwhile, Saul Gonzalez, who went back to the Cubs in the trade, has a 2.81 ERA in 25.2 innings this year in Class-A St. Lucie this season.
The Mets will rely on Givens as their outside help for the rest of the season.
This was the only reliever the Mets acquired to bolster their bullpen before Tuesday's trade deadline. They missed out on David Robertson, who went to the Phillies, and Michael Fulmer, who was dealt to the Twins before the deadline.
With Trevor May set to return from the injured list on Wednesday, this means the Mets bullpen for the time being will consist of Edwin Diaz, Trevor May, Mychal Givens, Seth Lugo, Adam Ottavino, Trevor Williams, Joely Rodriguez, and Tommy Hunter (Drew Smith is on the injured list). This will probably the bullpen the Mets ride with the rest of the season.
But is this the World Series type of bullpen the Mets and their fans were looking for? Time will tell.