Max Scherzer was hardly a steal by the New York Mets this offseason. He had to receive the largest AAV deal in the history of the game. As superb as he may end up being, he is not this week’s winner of the Steal of the Offseason Award; a bi-weekly annual award handed out way too soon in the season with no voting process or official recognition anywhere but here made mostly by a quick rush to judgment following a small sample size.
This honor goes to a guy who is coming off of a solid season yet still had to settle on a minor league deal this offseason. Any guesses? Push pause if you have to.
It’s Chasen Shreve! The lone lefty in the bullpen doing good things this year, Shreve has been everything the team needed from a southpaw reliever. It’s way too early to anoint him the coveted Aaron Loup Cup, but with a new weekly award to hand out to Mets players for the foreseeable future, it’s the first one for Shreve to add to his mantle.
Mets reliever Chasen Shreve wins the Steal of the Offseason Award
The lack of left-handed talent the Mets were left with in their bullpen once all of the best free agents signed elsewhere stirred up plenty of questions heading into Opening Day. The team managed to sign Shreve and awarded him with an invite to camp despite not having a spot on the 40-man roster.
Because he pitched well and certainly has the resume to get major league outs, it was an easy decision to add him to the club. After 4 appearances and 5.1 innings of work, Shreve looks like he could turn into one of those unsung heroes for the Mets this season.
Is it too soon to start trusting Shreve completely? It probably is but these early results are promising. He has given up only a single hit and a walk. Not an exceptional strikeout pitcher, he is getting strike three calls regularly and doing it with the bases empty.
The Mets had a lot of ways they could have gone this winter to fill in the lefty reliever role. They made a trade days before Opening Day to acquire Joely Rodriguez from the New York Yankees. They would pair him with Shreve, hopeful at least one of them would look good. The trade has looked like one of the poorest transactions of the entire offseason. Quite the opposite can be said about signing Shreve.
Shreve gets a virtual trophy this week for being a minor role-player on the Mets roster performing at a much higher ability. You’ve earned it Chasen! Now keep doing what you’re doing.