One of the Mets biggest stated needs this Winter is acquiring a second lefty to pair with Josh Edgin in the bullpen. Unfortunately the free agent market of Joe Beimel, Craig Breslow, and Phil Coke are nothing to get real excited about.
The Mets also have some unproven options that are on the 40-man roster including Dario Alvarez and Jack Leathersich. Alvarez has great stuff, but has only pitched six innings above A- Ball. Leathersich has always posted big strikeout numbers, but that has been accompanied by very high walk rates. Both could use some more time at Triple-A to begin the 2015 season.
To me the best place for the Mets to look for a lefty reliever is the trade market. The two teams that make the most sense to match up for a trade are the A’s and the Blue Jays. Each of them have three lefty relievers in the bullpen and both really need a second baseman.
Billy Beane has showed over the last couple of months he isn’t afraid to make a big trade and Sean Doolittle would look great in a Mets uniform. Doolittle has been fabulous the last three years and can be under team control thru 2020, meaning the price will be steep.
More realistic options from the A’s would be Eric O’Flaherty and Fernando Abad. O’Flaherty has been limited to only 38 innings over last two years but is still effective and is healthy now. He has an ERA under 2.00 against the NL East and lefties have only hit .202/.264/.267 against him in his career. Abad has turned his career around the last two years and was terrific last season with a 1.57 ERA and a 0.855 WHIP. Abad would also be the easiest to acquire of this group and his under team control through 2018.
The Blue Jays haven’t been a slouch either lately and still have a big hole at 2B. They have two good lefties in their pen in Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup, matching them up rather nicely for a trade with the Mets. Cecil had an incredible 76 strikeouts in only 53 innings and also saved five games in 2014. Cecil also held opponents to a .409 OPS with RISP. Loup made 71 appearances last year so Terry would be all for getting him. In three season he has a 2.77 ERA and only allows 7.6 H/9 innings. He only made $500K last year and can be controlled until 2019.
Other trade targets should include Charlie Furbush from the Mariners, Paco Rodriguez who was used sparingly last year by the Dodgers but was solid in 2013, and Brian Duensing who has been better since converting to a reliever for the Twins.