3 small yet smart Mets trade targets the team should consider this offseason

The Mets are yet to address their need for a left-handed relief pitcher.
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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The New York Mets have addressed many depth needs this offseason. They have signed a multitude of right-handed relief pitchers to one-year or minor-league contracts. The team has just recently addressed a swing role candidate in Adrian Houser and a right-handed hitting fourth outfielder in Tyrone Taylor. The Mets have also claimed Zack Short, Cooper Hummel, and Tyler Heineman off waivers, all serving a purpose around the diamond and in the outfield.

The one area David Stearns is yet to address even for minor league depth purposes is left-handed relief options. Currently, the Mets have just Brooks Raley and Josh Walker as significant pieces to the bullpen moving forward. With rookie manager Carlos Mendoza at the helm, this would limit his ability to mix and match with the best left-handed bats in the NL East such as Bryce Harper and Matt Olson. Some options have come off the free agent market with Andrew Chafin and Will Smith both signing one-year contracts elsewhere. With the Mets seeming reluctant to part with top prospects, who are the best trade options at a reasonable price?

1. Andrew Saalfrank, Arizona Diamondbacks

When searching for quality relief pitching, the reigning National League Champions is always a good place to start. Drafted in the 6th round of the 2019 draft out of Indiana University in Bloomingdale, Andrew Saalfrank has established himself as an under-the-radar quality pitcher in the minor leagues. In 3 minor league seasons, Saalfrank pitched to a 3.04 ERA in 130.1 innings with 66 walks and 185 strikeouts. He made his major league debut this past September for the Diamondbacks, allowing 2 unearned runs in 10.1 innings pitched.

Saalfrank does not possess an overpowering arm, averaging 92.5 MPH on his fastball, but his curveball mix is his bread and butter. He has always been a strikeout pitcher, having 93 of them in 64 innings between AA and AAA last season. For a rookie pitcher, he showed great composure in the World Series throwing 2.1 scoreless innings in 3 appearances against an elite Texas Rangers lineup.

The Mets should explore a trade for Saalfrank as a pairing piece in the bullpen for Raley. He has options to the minor leagues, meaning Saalfrank can be a depth piece if he struggles early on. The rookie's best quality is his consistency all throughout his minor league career: 3.55 ERA in 2019, 3.53 ERA in 2022, and 2.53 ERA in 2023. With most free agents coming with many innings on their arms and inconsistent track records, the 26-year-old Saalfrank would be a breath of fresh air.