Alderson’s Search For Veteran Reliever Is A Valid Concern

An article by posted on January 13, 2014

sandy alderson winter meetings

With Pitchers and Catchers only four weeks away, there remains some work still to be done before the Mets can close the books on this offseason. Sandy Alderson has said repeatedly that he is looking for at least one late-inning reliever that he can sign to a major league contract.

MMO asked Alderson if he had the same mentality for the bullpen as he does for the final rotation spot as far as giving some of our young internal options a chance to win the fifth spot. He definitely wasn’t as open to that in the case of adding a late inning reliever.

“If you take Bobby Parnell out of the bullpen, there’s not a lot of experience there,” said Alderson. “I’m not sure there’s anybody in that ‘pen right now that we are looking at that’s actually pitched a full season at the big league level if you just look at the guys on our roster right now. I may be wrong about that but I think that’s right.”

“So that has to be an issue; but I think we have time to address that, certainly we can address the experience issue and see what’s available to us by trade and free agency as well.”

The Mets had discussed options like John Axford, who signed with the Indians, and Kevin Gregg, who is still available, in the beginning of the offseason.

Gregg, 35, had a terrific season for the Cubs posting 3.48 ERA while notching 33 saves in 62 relief appearances. However, he may prove to be too costly.

Other relievers who have been linked to the Mets include righthanders Alfredo Aceves and Mitchell Boggs, both free agents and both a step down from someone like Gregg.

With Bobby Parnell (assuming readiness), Scott RiceVic Black and Gonzalez Germen already considered locks for the bullpen, there should be a nice battle between Cory Mazzoni, Jeff WaltersJeurys FamiliaJosh Edgin and possibly Jacob deGrom for a couple of spots.

But Sandy Alderson is right regarding the need for a veteran reliever, especially with the loss of LaTroy Hawkins. While this bullpen is very long on upside, it is also very short on experience.

Still, it’s great to see the Mets in a position to have a bullpen stocked with many homegrown pitchers that could prove to be very valuable assets down the road.

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About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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