Just days after the 2022 World Series ended, the New York Mets made Edwin Diaz the highest paid relief pitcher in Major League history. As important a move as it was, it merely scratched the surface of work to be done on the bullpen.
With most other key contributors from 2022 hitting free agency, the Mets essentially had to rebuild their entire relief corps heading into the winter. But by the time the calendar turned to 2023, the front office had made three more significant moves towards fortifying it.
Let’s examine how each improves the team’s outlook for next season.
NY Mets sign David Robertson: Grade B+
Adding David Robertson might have come a few months later than it should have, as he was one of the best relievers available at the trade deadline prior to going to Philadelphia. Nonetheless, adding the veteran right-hander gives the Mets an established option at the back end of the bullpen heading into 2023.
The biggest risk that comes with Robertson is his age, as he will be 38 in April. While he is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro (2.40 ERA in 63 2/3 innings), he wasn’t as dominant with the Phillies as he was the first half of the year with the Chicago Cubs. He was, however, a key contributor for the Phillies in the postseason as they marched to within two wins of a World Series title, allowing just one run in 7 2/3 innings.
It is that kind of playoff pedigree, coupled with experience as both a setup man and closer, that otherwise makes this a great signing for the Mets. For his career, Robertson has now logged 41 postseason games, pitching to a 2.78 ERA. In the regular season, he has almost as many holds (152) as he does saves (157).
Robertson figures to slot right into the eighth inning role ahead of Diaz – although with other quality options alongside him (who we’ll get to in just a bit), the Mets have the flexibility to utilize him in a variety of different roles if needed.