Are you sick of the lefty reliever chatter yet? It’s the one bruise on the 2022 plan for the New York Mets to go 162-0.
Chasen Shreve is the current front-runner to take the job. An underwhelming choice, to say the least, the Mets decided not to aggressively target the top available free agents. There are still a few guys out there yet none seem to have the same potential for a great 2022 season as Andrew Chafin or even Brad Hand.
One way for the Mets to solve this at the last minute is to make a trade. Keeping it simple in a straight one-for-one deal with maybe a prospect or some cash involved as well, what if the Mets did something a little more unconventional and traded a righty for a lefty?
The Mets could still trade J.D. Davis or Dominic Smith for a lefty reliever but that feels less likely
Trading a position player with the same pedigree as J.D. Davis or Dominic Smith for a left-handed reliever feels wrong. It’s the kind of desperate move to only make when you are in a pennant race and have nothing else to do. The Mets would probably be wiser to gamble on Shreve pitching well and then seeing what’s available midseason. I’d even take signing an unappealing free agent rather than dealing Davis or Smith or a guy that will only appear in 50 innings at most all year long.
A left-handed reliever is important but there are other ways to acquire one.
This idea I want to explore a little further is swapping a righty for a lefty.
Maybe the Mets can flip Miguel Castro for a lefty reliever also nearing free agency
Miguel Castro is a free agent after this season and one of those guys whose fate with the Mets is undeterminable. He’s a middle reliever, after all. You don’t extend those guys early. Rarely do you even re-sign them. Relief pitchers are the most well-traveled of journeymen in this game.
Trading Castro now could work for the Mets to pick up a lefty in a similar position. He was a workhorse for the Mets last season, pithing more innings in relief than anyone else. It’s his best quality.
The one problem the team could encounter with this kind of move is they won’t get equal value back. A lefty of Castro’s same abilities is more coveted. And considering he only has a season of control left, the Mets may only be able to get another upcoming free agent back or maybe a younger arm trying to figure things out.
Fortunately, there are two other relievers to look at.