Half of the Mets pitching equation appears to be in place, but the other is still missing pieces.
After filling out their rotation last week by agreeing to multi-year contracts with Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana and Kodai Senga, team officials could still use a top arm or two. looking to the bullpen.
Two big holes have been filled in recent days with the arrivals of David Robertson and Brooks Raleigh, but at least one additional high-impact option closer to Edwin Diaz is considered necessary.
To that end, the team still hasn’t ruled out a reunion with Adam Ottavino, the Mets’ top reliever last season. And general manager Billy Eppler is still open to exploring the trade market — he went as far as prying left-hander Raleigh from the Rays.
Ottavino, 37, is expected to sign a multiyear deal as one of the top relievers still available on the free agent market after posting a 2.06 ERA in 66 games last season. Team officials like the way the Brooklyn native showed the makeup to handle the highs and lows of pitching in New York after his previous workouts with the Yankees.
In that respect, he resembles Robertson, 37, whose experience includes a 2009 World Series title with the Yankees. The right-hander, who signed a one-year contract worth 10 million dollars, took the field in the world. streak for the Phillies last season after coming over from the Cubs at the trade deadline.
Other names the Mets could pursue in the free agent market — in addition to or in place of Ottavino — include Corey Knebel, Andrew Chafin, Michael Fulmer and Craig Kimbrel.
Seth Lugo, a Mets staple in recent seasons, has drawn interest as a starter on the free agent market (he’s shown a role he prefers) and won’t be back.
The Mets pursued free agent shortstop Taylor Rogers (who has a good working relationship with Twins pitching coach Jeremy Hefner), but his price didn’t convince, prompting Eppler to move to Raleigh. – acquired him by the Mets for prospect Keyshawn Askew. . Raleigh, a lefty, will earn $4.5 million this season under a contract that includes a club option through 2024.
Meanwhile, Diaz, Robertson, Raleigh and Drew Smith are known quantities among Mets relievers. Given the work the organization did last season to rehabilitate his right arm after Tommy John surgery, John Curtis has a strong chance of remaining on the major league roster. Right-hander Zach Green, selected in the Rule 5 draft, will also have an inside track on the job — he should be offered back to the Yankees if he doesn’t make the 26-man roster.
Other relievers the Mets will evaluate in spring training include Tommy Hunter, Zach Muckenhearn, Jeff Brigham, Elieser Hernandez, Jimmy Yacabonis and Stephen Ridings.
Hernandez could potentially fill the pinch-hitter role vacated by Trevor Williams (who signed with the Nationals over the weekend) and Brigham, who was acquired in the same trade with the Marlins — drawing positive reviews from former Miami manager Don Mattingly.