2017 offseason

Four Potential Relief Pitching Targets for the Mets

The Mets have enough holes in their roster to be a trypophobe’s worst nightmare. However, there is no deeper hole in this team than in their bullpen. The 2017 Mets bullpen was a horror show, logging a combined 4.58 FIP (6th worst in majors) and 4.82 ERA (2nd worst in majors). Addressing the bullpen is obviously the Mets’ #1 priority this offseason, and the Mets have made it clear that they want relievers to enter games after the starter has gone through the order twice. Luckily for them, this free agency class is ripe with quality arms that can immediately produce for the Mets.

Bryan Shaw

Possibly the top target the Mets have on their wishlist, Bryan Shaw could make a reunion with his former pitching coach Mickey Callaway in Queens. Shaw had his best season in 2017, pitching for a 3.52 ERA and a 2.96 FIP for the Indians. The 30-year old has been a reliable reliever for the Tribe for over five seasons after beginning his career with the Diamondbacks. Given his rapport with Callaway and his success in Cleveland, it’s likely Shaw will come to Flushing to reinforce a wilted bullpen in 2018.

Addison Reed

Reed played an integral part of the Mets success in 2015 and 2016, and after getting traded to the Red Sox at the deadline last year, it’s not out of the question that he can come back to the Mets. Addison Reed had to take the role of the Mets closer after Jeurys Familia missed much of the year with a blood clot in his throwing arm. Reed threw 49 innings with a 2.57 ERA, 48 strikeouts, 19 saves, and a 3.16 FIP. After being traded to the Red Sox at the deadline for a few relief prospects, Reed’s production took a dive. His ERA jumped to 2.84 by the end of the season, and he threw 27 innings with a 4.60 FIP and a 3.33 ERA. It is likely he will rebound from his slow finish last season and whatever team he lands on, he can eat a couple of innings and keep a lead standing.

Mike Minor

After working his way between the major leagues and the minor leagues, Minor is trying to re-invent his career. Originally spending five seasons with the Braves as a starting pitcher, Minor has never quite lived up to the tall expectations of being an ace. After being sidelined for much of the past two years with a nagging shoulder injury, Minor signed with the Royals in 2016 in an attempt to get his career back on track. After the 2017 season, it seems like Minor has made plenty of progress. In 77.2 innings in relief, Minor pitched a 2.55 ERA with a dominant 2.62 FIP. His pitches are also a lot faster than in past years. The velocity of his fastball jumped from 91 mph to 94 mph, among his vast repertoire of pitches. If the Mets sign Minor, they can benefit greatly from his journey to return to prominence.

Brandon Morrow

Another formidable reliever who has struggled with a shoulder injury, Morrow can still dominate out of the pen even as he reaches the age of 34. After coming off of a 2016 season where he missed a majority of the year from shoulder surgery, Morrow has been a strong set-up reliever out of the Dodgers’ bullpen. In 47 innings, he touted a 2.06 ERA and an amazing 1.55 FIP.  Morrow is known for his formidable fastball, which he has improved this year. His fastball velocity in 2017 jumped from 95.1 mph to 97.8 mph. Whoever signs Morrow will at the very least get a strong set-up man that shut down an inning or two.

 

Stats provided by FanGraphs

Photo Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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