Among the boldness of his predictions are two relief pitchers he sees the Mets signing this offseason.
Harper names veteran and former Mets trade deadline target David Robertson as well as Robert Suarez as the two relievers he predicts Billy Eppler will sign.
Why David Robertson and Robert Suarez make sense for the Mets
We all know Robertson well from his years with the New York Yankees and even Chicago White Sox. He has been around the league for a while and taken on a variety of roles. He can close but is probably better equipped as an eighth-inning guy. He’s coming off of a strong season with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies.
Although age isn’t on his side, there was nothing from his performance to suggest he’s cooked. In fact, because of the injuries that held him away from the field in several recent seasons, he might have a few miles left to go.
Suarez is the far bigger mystery. He was a 31-year-old rookie for the San Diego Padres last year where he went 5-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 47.2 innings of work. Suarez had spent several seasons pitching in Japan when a stellar 2021 performance caught the attention of San Diego. He’s someone the Mets could ink on a two or even three-year deal although I’d be cautious about keeping him for too long.
One thing that is clear—the Mets need relief pitchers and can’t wait around to find solutions. They did manage to re-sign Edwin Diaz which is hopefully the start of rebuilding the relief corps. The team has lost several others and we can’t expect them all to return.
The window to win for the Mets is pretty wide open but far more in 2023. Max Scherzer can opt out after. Players like Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil are getting closer to free agency. Starling Marte is getting older.
The sweet spot for the Mets where the veterans are effective, the guys in their late 20s are peaking, and the rookies are contributing could very well take place next year. Robertson and Suarez may not win them a championship. Their job, as two back-end relievers, is to ensure someone doesn’t blow it.