By: Noah Wright
The Mets have had one of the most active off seasons this winter. They’ve added many pieces to the team, including Edwin Diaz, and Jeurys Familia to bolster the pen, while acquiring Robinson Cano and Wilson Ramos to sure up the line-up. After those acquisitions, the Mets just recently added outfield depth with Keon Broxton, and infield depth with J.D. Davis. However even after all that, the Mets still could do more this off season.
The Mets still need to add to this bullpen, and more specifically a left handed relief pitcher. Past Diaz, Familia, and Seth Lugo, this team doesn’t have too many great options out of the pen. However, there are plenty of ways they can fix this. On the free agent scene, they could go out, and scoop up a guy like Dan Jennings off the market. Last season, Jennings posted a solid 3.22 ERA, 4.09 FIP, and 1.383 WHIP in 64 and a third innings. While he has his struggles vs right handed hitters, Jennings keeps lefties to just a .226/.266/.304 line last season. Another free agent option the team could pursue is Zach Duke. Though Duke last season had a 4.05 ERA, his FIP was just 3.01, and he only gave up 1 home run across 52 innings of work. Plus, Duke did do well with the Twins last season. After getting off to a 3.67 ERA, and 2.84 FIP in 37 and a third inning start to the season, Duke was traded to the Mariners, where he struggled to a 5.52 ERA, and 3.84 FIP in 14 and two thirds innings. Though Duke did neutralize LH hitters, keeping them to just a .602 OPS. On the trade market, Giants’ relief pitchers Tony Watson and Will Smith also could be available in trade talks. Watson bounced back from an up and down 2017 season to pitch for a 2.59 ERA, 2.45 FIP, and 1.030 WHIP in 66 innings of work. He also reached a career best in K/9 with 9.8. Owed just $3.5 million next season with a $2.5 million option for 2020, Watson, entering his age 34 season, could provide decnet back end support. Will Smith on the other end, provided similar quality innings. In 53 innings pitched, Smith had a 2.55 ERA, 2.07 FIP, and .981 WHIP. Next year, Smith is owed $2.5 million, the last year of his contract.
The next place the Mets still should look at to add pieces is the rotation. The first 3 starters the Mets are looking to open the season with are outstanding. Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler look to lock down the first 3 spots, with Steven Matz penciled in for the 4th spot. However, the 5th spot is currently a large question mark. Currently Jason Vargas is the 5th starter, but he struggled a lot during the 2018 season. They also don’t have too many better options on the 25-man. Their closest prospect to being ready to face MLB batters is Franklyn Kilome, who hasn’t even cracked AAA yet. One name the Mets have recently been connected to is Derek Holland, and he makes a good bit of sense for the Mets. After 3 rough years between the Rangers, and White Sox, the Giants took a gamble on Derek Holland on a minors deal, and he turned out to be one of the team’s better starters. Through 171.1 innings, Holland had a 3.57 ERA, 3.87 FIP, and 1.290 WHIP. Plus, Holland reached a career best in K/9, having an 8.9 K/9. He’d be a nice back end piece on a cheap 1 year deal. Though he isn’t the Mets other option. They could also pursue Wade Miley (2.57 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 1.215 WHIP in 80 and two thirds innings), Clay Buchholz (2.01 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 1.037 WHIP in 98.1 innings), and Brett Anderson (4.48 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 1.282 WHIP in 80.1 innings) to help round out the back end of the starting 5.
The Mets are likely going to be a competitor in a very competitive NL East. However after multiple trades, they’re almost a complete team. If this team can sure up it’s pitching staff, I do believe that they could put up a fight against Divisional Rivals Washington Nationals, and Atlanta Braves.